Getting To The Source Of Our Students’ Trauma

Look at this title. Whatever your politics, whatever you think about California…liberal or conservative, this woman gets “it.”


I talk w Theo Fleury more than just about anyone on this planet about MH. If I could have a dollar for every time he mentioned the word trauma, I wouldn’t be taking Greyhound busses to #SameHere stops in Indiana .


Theo & I joke about all these #Talk #TalkMH or #BellsLetsTalk campaigns – WHAT are they asking ppl to talk ABOUT? It’s our lives, it’s our experiences, it’s our traumas. Love that this surgeon general is thinking this way.


By & large, kids don’t act up in school bc they have a vendetta against a particular teacher or aid or principal. They act up bc of an event or set of events, that trigger feelings (heightened feelings or empty feelings), that then trigger an action. What’s the SOURCE of their actions is what we need to know. That’s where the communication breakdown is.


I’m combining two older posts here now, bc this dawned on me reading this article: the #SameHere Scale we created – to give an easy way for kids to tell us how they are feeling, is simple a way to help us uncover what’s underneath. It’s gotta start there.


Then, we have majors “buckets” in our lives that help us compartmentalize WHAT things have happened to us, positive or negative – we realize that specific events (chronic stresses & traumas), can effect how we feel overall (on that scale). Example: you could be the most popular kid in school, in every club, w the best looking boyfriend/girlfriend, top athlete – but if in one bucket, you were verbally abused in your family life – you may identify as “Struggling” on the scale, bc that trauma has never been dealt with.

So whether we do what’s suggested here, & we screen for trauma, or whether we use models like these scales to help open up convo w students & get to the source, trauma/past experiences/adverse childhood experiences – our kids “stuff” is important for us to understand – instead of us treating everyone like a bad kid, putting penalties in place, sending them to the principal’s office, etc. If we don’t get to the source, we can’t help kids heal…& there’s a whole host of other societal problems we could write books on, that come from there.

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