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National Education Association (NEA) action gives traumatized student education a big boost


NEA President Lily Eskelsen García and Robert Hull, member of the Maryland NEA delegation

Delegations to the National Education Association (NEA) Representative Assembly summer meeting from California and Maryland combined forces to secure approval last week of a new business item on educating traumatized students. Approximately 7,000 delegates participated in the Boston meeting. Robert Hull from Maryland and a group from California put the new business item forward for consideration.

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7,000 delegates attended the 2017 NEA Representative Assembly (Photo: Rick Runion)

This action builds on another positive step taken at the NEA meeting last summer (reported on—passing a resolution that describes the impact on trauma on the brain, how trauma impacts health and impedes access to education, describes the risk of secondary trauma on those who serve children, and recognizes trauma’s impact across society. The final sentence reads: “The Association also believes that school districts should provide complex trauma training for education employees, and program to address the effects of trauma.”

 Here is the exact new business item (#9) language that was approved essentially unanimously by the NEA:

 "that NEA create a training module on trauma-informed instruction that can be accessed by state and local affiliates. This module will be based on best practices and utilize the trauma informed educational efforts current NEA affiliates are practicing."

According to Hull, "this action solidly places the largest union in the country behind trauma informed education!!" He says that the next steps are for the NEA to assign this task to a staff member and then for all of those who work to advance trauma-informed schools to assist by gathering these best practices and sending them to the NEA.

Hull sees this as "a big step forward" and "could lead to state legislation as the next level to spread trauma-informed schools practices across the country."


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