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Trauma Sensitive Schools

As educators, we must be aware of the prevalence of trauma in the lives of the children in our schools. Children experiencing some type of trauma are likely to struggle in school with language and communication, attentiveness to classroom tasks, regulating emotions, and engaging in the curriculum. A study released by the Office of the Commissioner of Probation found that about 43,000 children in Massachusetts had been in some way impacted by family violence. Similarly, the Massachusetts Department of Social Services reports that in 2004 nearly 40,000 children were included in their caseload, due to child abuse and neglect.

Although current research does not provide the complete picture on children affected by events leading to trauma, we do know that there are children experiencing trauma throughout Massachusetts's public schools. Trauma Sensitive Schools provide an environment that may include: staff awareness of trauma, training on teaching students affected by trauma, linking with mental health professionals, academic instruction for traumatized children, and nonacademic strategies for traumatized children.


For more information:

Contact Anne L. Gilligan, M.P.H., Safe && Healthy Schools Specialist ( / 781-338-6309) in the Learning Supports and Early Learning (OLSEL) Unit ( / 781-338-3010).

Last Updated: September 13, 2011
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