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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL effects. Powerlessness and terror may be prevailing feelings, even during “stable” periods. But how does this connect with the acting-out behavior of Brian and James or Jenny and Andre on Monday morning? According to developing research in the field, children who demon- strate disrespectful and belligerent behaviors in school or other group settings often do so as a result of their altered brain development caused by certain high-stress life experiences. As inappropriate as acting-out behaviors are, in trauma-informed teaching, you can interpret such aggressiveness as a child’s pleading for an opportunity to feel safe, physi- cally and emotionally. The angry, raging child may actually be a very frightened child. The defiant child is crying out for stability and a sense of security. As educators work to help distressed and traumatized children learn in the midst of chaos, they can be part of children’s lifelong healing and recovery. 8 Part One COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL