RISC 90 Second Story – Chesterfield Schools
A RISC 90 Second Story is the RISC “elevator speech” about RISC’s efforts on a specific research issue. Last week the 90 Second Story was about the Reading to Grade level efforts with Richmond Public Schools. This week’s 90 Second Story is about the Child Trauma training efforts with Chesterfield Public Schools. Next week the 90 Second Story will be about what RISC is doing on the Eviction crisis in Richmond.
Chesterfield – Student Trauma
Introduction: Through RISC, we address serious problems in our community and overcome our region’s historic divisions by joining with 21 diverse congregations.
The Problem: In Chesterfield County Public Schools, our children were suffering from high rates of school suspensions, and impacted by the suicides of 3 students in 2016. The suspensions were highest in students of color and with handicaps. We also saw behavior issues and mental health issues on the rise that may be the result of traumatic experiences.
The Solution: School staff and teachers can be trained to recognize child trauma using nationally-recognized program ACE Interface. This program could be provided for free for all Chesterfield schools through the Virginia Dept. of Behavioral Health.
The Obstacle: Leaders in Chesterfield schools made a commitment to train 100% of staff members with ACE Interface, but they have not followed through on their commitment. School officials are buying into the myth of scarcity, that they don’t have the resources to efficiently train every staff member.
The Hero: We believe that by partnering with well-known organizations in our community that are already providing trauma response training, Chesterfield can take advantage of the abundance of resources in our region and offer an effective, efficient training to every staff member. This will have an immense impact on the well-being and safety of our students and teachers. Our children, who are our heroes, are depending on us to stand together for this solution. Together, with the power of over 1,000 people, we will once again gather this year to ask for an effective response to trauma in our schools.
The Resolution: We are following up on Chesterfield Schools’ commitments and requesting details on the current training as well as next steps. We are determined to ensure that teachers get the trauma-informed care training that they need so students feel safe and ready to learn!
Conclusion: I’m part of RISC because our children need our commitments to justice…Each of us can help win justice by bringing at least 3 people to the Action on May 2nd, 7pm at Good Shepherd Baptist Church so we can stand together against injustice.