This month at TEP we are honing in on our Policy Priority Areas. We want to share why each is important to realizing our dream of quality education for all of God’s children. We also want to share how you can partner with us in strategically demanding better for our kids and our schools.
This year we are focused on centering the joy of Black and Brown children. When children have their joy centered they can be more grounded, more focused, freer, and happier. Joy allows students to thrive. We want that for all children. To help get us there, we are supporting policies that invest in the mental and emotional well-being of students by ensuring:
- More mental health counselors
- Culturally responsive sustaining education as a broad policy in schools
- Funding for community schools
- Wraparound coordinators who are invested in the school community and help transition to a community school
- Trauma-informed and non-punitive discipline training for all staff
- Police presence is to protect children from outsiders, not to participate in educating children
- Address the trauma that comes from allowing children to live in a culture of violence
- Students and the neighborhoods they live in can enjoy prosperity, safety, and economic empowerment in their everyday lives.
We know that even before the pandemic, nearly half of all students in the United States had experienced a traumatic event. Studies show these kinds of events dramatically impact the ability of a child to function optimally in learning environments. The upheaval of the pandemic and its pervasive impact on students is still being quantified. Mental health counselors ensure students receive the care and treatment needed to respond to traumatic events and adequate nature and resourcing at critical stages of development.
Culturally responsive-sustaining education and community schools enable students to learn in environments that intentionally and skillfully employ the knowledge, experiences, and identity of students to ensure effective and relevant learning. Through trauma-informed, non-punitive discipline practices and an appropriate police presence, schools can become places that are safe and support students as they learn to respond to life and the world.
Find out more about the impact of trauma on students and how we can demand a greater investment in their mental and emotional well-being.