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Huffington Post: Tackling Childhood Trauma in DC Schools

June 24, 2015

In her Huffington Post blog, Judith Sandalow shares the story of a young DC girl in middle school—who started to do better and learn once educators stopped asking “what’s wrong with this girl” and instead began asking “what happened to her?”

Previously a good student, she suddenly stopped wanting to go to class so her mother started to walk her to school every day. Sometimes this worked, but more often than not Janice would stop at the school’s front steps and start crying. Some days she would start screaming and simply refuse to go into the school building. Other days she would start out okay but then be sent home because of a breakdown.

It turns out that [she] had been sexually assaulted that past summer. In response to this traumatic experience, she started to feel unsafe much of the time, but especially at school. Lacking trauma training, the teachers and staff at her middle school didn’t know how to handle her escalating outbursts. They viewed her as a “problem child” and would often just stand around or call her mom. [Her] grades plummeted.

Read more via the link below.