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Teachers across Tulsa Public Schools gather for training to address trauma in the classroom

Posted at 3:53 PM, Jun 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-19 18:27:21-04

TULSA, Okla. — Connected Kids is working with the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association to show educators what trauma looks like, and how to address it.

"Children in Oklahoma have some of the highest adversity scores in the nation. I look at that as a great opportunity here in Tulsa because if we can do it in Tulsa we can do it anywhere else," CEO Barbara Sorrels said.

One teacher at Street School said the average TPS campus has about 60 percent of students battling trauma, but in her classroom that number can be closer to 95 percent.

"Some of our kids are couch-surfing. Some of our kids have parents who have drug issues. Some of our kids are in the foster care system... have been abandoned... have their own issues with mental health," Mary Kollmorgen said.

Stress can impact memory and the ability to process information. Sorrels said many of these students will struggle to learn.

"They could be throwing chairs, table-tipping, yelling at kids, putting their hands on kids... so learning how to respond to them in a loving manner but also holding them accountable to their behavior is huge," Celia Clinton Elementary teacher Katie Salyers said.

The group is hoping to intervene to give students hope for the future.

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