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Program shows teachers how to see signs of childhood trauma []


When a child is acting out or not paying attention in school, it might not be because he or she is misbehaving. It might be because a parent was arrested the previous night.

Teachers don't always know about the traumatic events a child experiences at home, but a new program being organized in Mercer County could give teachers notice when one of their students need to be handled with care. Andrea Darr, director of the West Virginia Center for Children's Justice spoke May 6 at Mercer County Family Court to school officials and law enforcement agencies about the program "Handle With Care."

In the program, teachers are alerted when an incident at home, such as domestic violence or the arrest of a parent, could impact a child. They are not given any details about the incident itself, just that a student could use extra attention, Darr said.

She played a 911 recording of child calling the center in Johnson City, Tenn. The child was hiding in a closet while the father was beating the mother.

"Help me! Help me! My daddy is killing my mommy!" the child cried.

"Odds are, where will that child be the next day?" Darr asked the audience. "In school, and you don't know about (the incident.)"

[For more of this story, written by Greg Jordan, go to]

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