Pennsylvania Lawmaker Calls for Training Teachers to Recognize Student Trauma Caused by Extended School Closures


A Pennsylvania lawmaker has drafted legislation to spend $50 million for training teachers to recognize and respond to students experiencing trauma in their homes and from COVID-19. “According to experts, the COVID-19 pandemic qualifies as a traumatic experience, which only further contributes to trauma in many individuals, including children,” Democratic state Rep. Joe Ciresi said in a recent memo announcing the proposal. “The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California found that many students described their current mental states as lonely, overwhelmed, and anxious at the height of the pandemic. For some students, school is a place to escape certain traumatic experiences at home, such as food insecurity, neglect, poverty, violence, etc. The pandemic only exacerbated these traumas when it temporarily shut down that safe-haven for many students.” As written, the measure, House Bill 1713, would have enough funding to offer every Pennsylvania School District a minimum of $20,000 in …

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