Trauma-Informed Schools

A trauma-informed school is one in which all students and staff feel safe, welcomed and supported and where the impact of trauma on teaching and learning is addressed at the center of the educational mission. Trauma-informed schools create school policies, practices and cultures that are sensitive to the needs of traumatized individuals and ensure that all individuals (students, families and staff) meet their maximum potential.

What is trauma?

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration defines trauma as the response to an “event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.” Trauma can result from a single event (single-episode or acute trauma) or it can result from multiple traumatic events over time (complex trauma). There are a wide range of experiences that can result in trauma.

Potential traumatic events include, but are not limited to:

  • Accidents;
  • Child abuse and neglect;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Natural disasters;
  • Domestic violence;
  • Community violence;
  • Harassment and intimidation;
  • Bullying;
  • Medical illness;
  • Hostage situations;
  • Social and environmental factors;
  • Parent/caregiver death;
  • Inconsistent parenting due to mental health/alcohol or drug issues;
  • War;
  • Terrorism and other man-made disasters;
  • Immigration and refugee experiences.

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Last Modified: 4/25/2024 3:11:02 PM