Childhood trauma is the experience of an event by a child that is emotionally painful or distressful which often results in lasting mental and physical effects.
- National Institute of Mental Health
A large number of Illinois students have experienced trauma. Situations that may be traumatic include: abuse, abandonment, death of a loved one, a serious accident, witnessing violence, being bullied, incarceration of a loved one, life-threatening situations, etc. Students who have experienced trauma may have behavioral or academic problems or their struggles may not be observable.
Schools need to provide a safe haven for these students and ensure that they have access to any additional supports they may need. This can be done through a Comprehensive System of Learning Supports that promotes the necessary conditions for learning and addresses any barriers to learning.