Ozark Guidance Helps Teachers Understand Trauma in the Classroom


Teachers from across Northwest Arkansas are learning how to deal with trauma in the classroom. Last year  837 cases of child abuse or neglect were reported by Washington and Benton county. 

Counselors we spoke with said the need to teach educators on how to deal with these issues has become more and more prevalent in our society. 

Jennifer Coldiron is the Student Outreach Coordinator for Ozark Guidance. Coldiron said, “Trauma comes in lots of different shapes and sizes. Some of the most common experiences children go through are sexual and physical abuse.”

Coldiron said  mental health issues are becoming more and more common in the classroom.  “We’re teaching them how to address aggressive acts in between one another. We’re teaching teachers the verbal deescalation skills that they need.”

Today over 70 teachers from the community joined together to talk about how to approach trauma with care. 

Springdale Schools Counselor, Gina Little said, “When we’re working with kids, things they might say or how they might act. Different things just to  kind of  be aware of, that says hmmm. I might need to watch this kiddo a little closer. “

Last year, one in three area students experienced some sort of trauma. Which is why Springdale schools has incorporated the training and an additional counselor. Little said, “We have 3, 4 and 5 year olds and it’s so sad that they come this early with these issues but it is huge.”

It’s not just trouble at home. Since the sandy hook tragedy  in 2012, there’s been over 220 school related shootings. The training helps  teachers understand how to deal with  this type of unexpected situation. Coldiron said, ” So the way we talk to students about that is reminding them.  That we are their safe-keepers and we’re here to keep them safe.”

Ozark Guidance helps students for free all across Northwest Arkansas. To find out more about how they can help you and your loved ones, head to their website —> http://www.ozarkguidance.org/

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