Hughes leads meeting on trauma in schools [PhillyTrib.com]

 

State Sen. Vincent Hughes issued a passionate plea to experts at Temple University to help serve and protect victims of trauma in grade schools in Philadelphia and across the commonwealth.

“Too many kids are walking into too many toxic schools, too many toxic situations — from domestic abuse to gun violence — to get an education in [an atmosphere] that’s toxic for educators to work in,” said Hughes (D-7) during a recent hearing at the university with members of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Hughes teamed with state Sen. Pat Browne (R-16) to introduce legislation that would require trauma-informed training for school board members, educators and school employees who have direct contact with students.

The goal is to help school staff better recognize the signs of trauma in students; follow best practices for trauma-informed schools and classrooms; and create policy to improve positive schoolwide behavior supports, restorative justice and resiliency among students, both Hughes and Browne said.

The proposal also aims to create curriculum and authorizes research on the effects of trauma to students, which would assist with policy planning.

“We know trauma has a negative impact on children and now it is time to act and help our students succeed,” Hughes said.

“Helping our students with empathy, compassion and understanding may be the only chance the children affected may ever have to work through their pain. We owe it to them to provide a better future educationally and emotionally,” he added.

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Title image: State Sen. Vincent Hughes spoke this week at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on school and student safety at Temple University. — photo courtesy of Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus

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