Just Talk! Educational Equity Podcast

Episode 4 Notes - Trauma and Triumph in Schools/Part 1

February 14, 2019

Host Tony Neal and co-host Deborah Bohlmann consider the practices of trauma-informed education, including conversation with Travis Williams, a teacher in alternative education in a St. Louis-area public school district, Maplewood Richmond Heights. Travis is an knowledgeable and experienced practitioner in trauma-sensitive education. He traces the effects of trauma on brain function in young people and provides examples of how mindfulness practices, safe space and chill zones can promote greater success for learners. The educational team focuses on developing relationships based on communicating and partnering with students and families, rather than at them or to them.  


Tony mentioned how inspired he was by Bree Newsome's appearance at a Martin Luther King Day celebration in St. Louis. Here is a link to Bree Newsome's website, where you can learn more about her work as an activist and filmmaker. You can also see footage there of her removing the Confederate flag from the flagpole outside the state capitol building in Columbia, South Carolina, in 2015.  https://www.breenewsome.com/

 Deborah mentioned the movie King in the Wilderness, which is an HBO production, 2018.


Travis recommends several tools in approaching trauma-informed education effectively and comprehensively.

  • Conscious Discipline by Rebecca Bailey: https://consciousdiscipline.com/
  • Teaching with Poverty in MindWhat Being Poor Does to Kids' Brains and What Schools Can Do about It by Eric Jensen, 2009.
  • International Institute for Restorative Practices: https://www.iirp.edu/

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