September Story of the Month

This Backpack Holds More Than Books

Young & Healthy’s newest work is in Trauma Informed Care. We are committed to bringing this knowledge to our partners in the school district. Young & Healthy is spending considerable time teaching our community about the effects of trauma on brain development, behavior and long term health. Nothing feels better than seeing knowledge turn into PRACTICE.

A local middle school teacher had a classroom that required the children to keep their backpacks on the floor in the back of the classroom. One student, Julian refused. No matter how many times the teacher requested he move his backpack, Julian vehemently refused. Frustrated, the teacher sought advice from the principal, who suggested they might use a “trauma informed” approach to understand this student’s behavior. There was gentle questioning about why Julian was being defiant. It turns out, the rule about keeping backpacks in the back of the room had been the case in another classroom as well. It was there that a precious football had been stolen. This football, had been given to Julian by his father just before he died.

What appeared to be an act of defiance was really an act of self-preservation. Giving teachers and principals the tools to look at children’s behavior with a new lens can promote kindness and trust. Instead of being punished, Julian was met with compassion and tenderness. Isn’t that a better environment for children to learn?

At Young and Healthy we have found a simple solution to a complex problem.

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