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‘Ambassadors of Hope’ Trauma-sensitive schools understand the whole child []


Kindergarten teacher Erica Nunemaker ripped down the clip chart she used for behavior management in her classroom. Children moved their clip up for good behavior and down for bad behavior.

Nunemaker realized the same students were moving down every day. The clip was a public display of the student’s failure, and children weren’t learning how to fix their behavior.

“I’ve noticed that a lot of times we discipline them and tell them that’s not right ... but then we don’t give them a solution to the problem,” said Nunemaker

All the teachers at Derby Hills Elementary School are taking down clip charts – one of the many changes taking place in the fall.

The documentary, “Paper Tigers,” is based on the true story about Lincoln Alternative High School in Walla Walla, Washington. The movie inspired Derby Hills Principal James Moffett to make some changes.

The documentary follows the progress of Lincoln Alternative High School as it implements research done by clinical physician Dr. Vincent Felitti and CDC epidemiologist Robert Anda, in their published article, “Adverse Childhood Experiences Study.”

The study links traumatic experiences in childhood to health problems, drug and alcohol abuse, unprotected sex, and behavior problems. They also found that a loving and dependable relationship with an adult is the best cure.

[For more of this story, written by Chandler Ochoa, go to]

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