Get Adobe Flash player
COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL function at a high cognitive level, and practice self-regulation, the quicker they will strengthen their self-control skills and engage in deep learning (Brendtro, Mitchell, and McCall 2009). Emotional Security Emotional security is an essential, primary factor in implementing a trauma-informed educational system. It guarantees all students freedom from real or perceived fears of being rejected or shamed. For this to occur, the discipline policy must be based on holding students accountable for building resolutions (see chapter 4’s section on restorative discipline for more). And, of course, a policy in name only is not enough. The princi- pal must lead the staff, and everyone must be in agreement to practice this approach for it to work. Emotional security is built on the concept of mutual respect and role-modeled by all adults and expected of all students. Trusting relationships between all adults and students are the foundation of an emotionally secure environment for deep learning and achievement. Becoming a trauma-informed school requires commitment and patience from all involved. Offering Healing Opportunities Students who are living with unprocessed traumatic stress often feel trapped in their memories and an overwhelming sense of loss. Steele and Malchiodi (2012) say the only way traumatized students can access frozen scary memories is through sensory movement of some kind. Certainly the body retains traumatic memories as much as the brain does, which is why sensory healing is essential to the overall healing process. Movement of the hands in play, art, and writing fulfills this requirement, and all these activities can fit into classrooms. Moving in rhythm, such as dance, song, or rap, also permits this access (Steele and Malchiodi 2012). When children realize that accessing a scary memory will not over- whelm them, because they are in an emotionally safe environment, they can begin to process the hurt. An emotionally safe environment assures children that support from a trusted adult is available. This process per- mits children to slowly gain the confidence essential for addressing the frozen fear and employs the problem-solving capacity of the thinking brain. Children begin to realize they can put the gripping fear to rest. This permits them to conclude that the negative experience should never 34 Chapter Three COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL