Special Resource Material Developed by the Center

Title: Trauma: A Barrier to Learning and Teaching (Information Resource)

Description: School and community shootings, natural disasters, death of a family member or friend, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, abandonment and neglect, exposure to family abuse or illness – all can be traumatic for students and staff. And for some, the psychological impact can become a barrier to learning and teaching. Data from a recent student health survey in a large urban school district found that 98 percent reported experiencing one or more stressful or traumatic life events in the past 12 months. At least half were viewed as suffering from moderate to severe symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This may reflect the growing numbers of youngsters growing up in poverty, those who are homeless, those living in violent communities, immigrant students coming from war-torn countries, and students who are chronically bullied.

No one doubts the importance of helping students with trauma histories. Schools have a clear stake in this since traumatized students often manifest learning and behavioral problems at school. The following highlights some current literature on addressing problems related to trauma in schools and then clarifies why the focus need s to go well beyond clinically-oriented mental health interventions.

Access at:   http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/traumainfo.pdf