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A San Diego Principal Takes on Trauma

Cherokee Point Elementary School Principal Godwin Higa explains the effects of childhood trauma on students and the compassion-based philosophy the San Diego school has embraced to help build resilience in the face of adversity.

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Another strong reason why we need to change our approach to school discipline and begin to help students that are wounded by trauma, we label their behavior and we punished them without seeking the cause. For many of these children, if we knew the story behind their behavior, we would throw our bodies down to protect them. There is a story behind the behavior, when a student begins to trust the adult, they begin to share their feelings in a safe school environment.  Punishment does not work, research tells us that it does not work, but we struggle letting go of punitive policies and consequences that do not teach.

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