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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL The clipboard had two tasks on it: reading to the children every day and teaching the nine children who had not mastered the task of tying their shoelaces. He read to the kindergarten class each lunch period, which they loved. The teacher reported with surprise and pride that when this boy walked down the hall, the other students there would walk as close to the walls as possible to avoid connecting with him, while her kindergartners would run up to him with hugs. The boy’s behavioral change was not exhibited in any other place within or outside the building, as he felt secure only in the kindergarten classroom with the teacher he trusted. What Children with Unprocessed Trauma Need from Their Teachers Trauma-informed teachers and schools recognize that all children need emotional and physical security in order to learn, and this security is abso- lutely critical for students who are experiencing traumatic stress. Children who have experienced trauma need time to trust that they will always be respected and never shamed or rejected. Ideally, this means that students should not experience threats when an educator or other school staff per- son is with them—in their classrooms, in the cafeteria, on the playground, or on the bus. Solid, trusting relationships between all students and staff increase learning and reduce behavioral issues. Relationships are more essential for students than any other part of education—more than laptops or other electronic hardware, which are often seen as important by the community (Cozolino 2013). Moreover, trauma-informed educators understand that many troubling behaviors are caused by fear and stress. They are clear in their under- standing that troubling behaviors are stress behaviors, not intentional misbehaviors (Brendtro, Mitchell, and McCall 2009; Levine and Kline 2007; Perry 2004). This is a critical aspect of trauma-informed education. An urban kindergarten class had several children with severe behavior issues stem- ming from a lack of attachment and profound insecurity or trauma—these children repeatedly talked about suicide. The explosive actions and screams of these stu- dents shocked and scared the entire class, and learning shut down. Some classmates voiced their discomfort, and the teacher called a class meeting about the issue. 24 Chapter Two COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL