An Evidence-Based Indictment of Inaction

 

                       An Evidence-Based Indictment of Inaction

                                     …Children’s lives hang in the balance

 

Powerful and surprisingly prevalent horrors are blocking access to education and ravaging children’s lives.  Sadly, they remain “the elephant in the classroom”: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

ACEs include physical, sexual, and emotional abuse [including bullying], physical and emotional neglect, a missing parent (due to separation, divorce, incarceration, or death), witnessing household substance abuse, violence, or mental illness. Environmental violence and more.

Developmental (or ‘Childhood’) trauma after ACEs is unidentified or misunderstood and often worsened within school systems, including the School District of Philadelphia (SDP).  Experts call it a “crisis”.

 

Trauma during development is especially heinous.

Some adults normalize the pain and fear of the injured child, thinking “they’ll get over it.”  Actually, it’s the opposite.  Young children have fewer coping mechanisms and their immature brains are still developing.  The impacts of trauma are greater on the still-developing brain.

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School children deciding to take their own lives  are a ‘silent’, but persistent indictment. 

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Trauma impacts children, learning and schools, via its laser-like effects on the physical structure of the brain.

Developmental trauma damages cognition.  The specific changes to brain architecture impair children’s memory systems, their ability to think, to organize multiple priorities (“executive function”), and hence to learn, particularly literacy skills.

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