The recent history of Covid 19 and the intensity of race and identity-based violence in the United States gave us, as a teaching community, a collective awareness of the impact that tragedy and trauma, individual and societal, can have on a student’s academic progress. If we carry an awareness that individual students and student identities have long lived in traumatic structures, we can begin to see trauma-informed education as an act not only of compassion but also as actions towards equity and justice.
“Individual trauma that students may experience can best be understood as "an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life threatening and that has lasting adverse effects."
The way schools and mental health professionals approach trauma with students has more often than not been with a colorblind approach that fails to take into account how racism and other societal injustices may have adverse effects on children. In a recent report on historical and racial trauma, The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) stated that "traumatic events that occur as a result of witnessing or experiencing racism, discrimination, or structural prejudice (also known as institutional racism) can have a profound impact on the mental health of individuals exposed to these events." Anti Racist, Trauma Informed Education from the Public Good
Resources: In the Eye 1 In the Eye of the Storm: Students' Perceptions of Helpful Faculty Actions Following a Collective Tragedy There