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Baltimore Public Schools Receive Funding to Help Students With Trauma

Baltimore Public Schools Receive Funding to Help Students With Trauma Stemming From Last Year’s Unrest

Five schools in West Baltimore will be sharing $300,000 in funding granted by the U.S. Department of Education to help students deal with trauma stemming from the unrest following the protests-turned-violent after the death of Freddie Grey.

According to the Baltimore Sun, suspensions and absences following the April protests resulted in “33 days of educational tumult for the city’s school system.”

"From April 29 through June 15, the end of the school year, suspensions rose sharply and more than 200 students withdrew. Absenteeism also increased. Students didn't feel safe, and the teachers and staff were at a loss for how to help them overcome their fears and anxiety, school officials said.”

In order to help affected students deal with the trauma from those events and others, the city’s school system intends to use the funding to hire social workers and counselors and provide professional development to current staff to best address trauma.

"The grant will be shared by five schools in West Baltimore that officials determined were most affected by the unrest: Frederick Douglass High School, Gilmor Elementary School, Matthew Henson Elementary School, William Pinderhughes Elementary/Middle School and Harlem Park Elementary/Middle School,” the article said.

The funding and the school system’s commitment to addressing trauma comes during a time when many in education wonder what the precise responsibility of schools is in ensuring traumatized students receive support.

A group of eight students and teachers are taking that exact question to court as they sue Compton Unified School District for not providing enough resources to support students exposed to the violence and trauma typical to the area.

They hope that the decision will result in mandating school accountability for helping students to receive the kind of support that Baltimore students are receiving for traumatic experiences.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

1/06/2016

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