With the rise in awareness of adverse childhood experiences, how to handle students who have experienced trauma is a growing concern. Trauma is not only inclusive of child abuse, but the result of any event such as natural disaster, death, or accident that overwhelms a child’s ability to cope. The outcome is a change in the developmental structure of the brain leading to changes in student’s behavior, academics, and/or emotions. Schools are beginning to implement a new approach that assumes all students have experienced trauma and therefore alters the school’s policies, procedures, discipline, community collaboration, and teaching methods. Implementation of trauma-sensitive schools are helping provide students with a safer school environment and cope in more supportive ways to traumatic reactions of students with trauma. Trauma-sensitive schools include collaboration within the community, training to all staff members coming in contact with students, implementing new discipline and teaching strategies, and morphing policies and procedures to better support these students.

Date of Award


Document Type

Capstone Paper


Counselor Education

First Advisor

Robin Alcala Saner

Unique Identifier



Educational use only. All copyright protections apply.



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