WHEREAS, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) defined trauma in childhood as an event which threatens injury, death, or the physical body of a child or adolescent while also causing shock, terror or helplessness, and
WHEREAS, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) defines complex trauma as children's experiences of multiple traumatic events that occur within the care-giving system - the social environment that is supposed to be the source of safety and stability in a child's life; and
WHEREAS, the United States Department of Justice statistics report that at least 60% of youth in the United States have or do suffer from trauma making trauma, a medical condition that affects all corners of our nation; and
WHEREAS; recent statistics report that each year as many as 17.8 million youth are exposed to domestic violence as witnesses or as victims; and
WHEREAS; trauma can be brought about by poverty, racism, abuse, homicide, homeless ness, social isolation, and other adverse experiences; and
WHEREAS; the untreated victims of trauma remain invisible and unacknowledged because they are frequently young, poor and people of color; and
WHEREAS; the vast majority of our nation's children attend the universal public school system from early childhood through adolescence; making it essential that public school professionals know of and understand the impact of trauma on a child's school performance.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People calls for a trauma-informed education system across the nation; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that each local Unit of the NAACP is encouraged to study the issue and to consider how it can directly call upon local, state and federal legislators to enact reforms that create trauma-informed education systems; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that local Units consider how they might wage a vigorous effort to inform their communities concerning the extent of and causes of trauma in children as well as how trauma impacts school performance; and to seek out and work with other organizations that understand the issue; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that all NAACP Units will stand united in challenging the entire education system including colleges and universities that prepare educators, to address the need for a universal, trauma-informed education system across the nation.