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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: June 21, 2021 04:15 PM
From: Representative Joe Ciresi
To: All House members
Subject: COVID-19 Trauma-Informed Education Training
According to experts, the COVID-19 pandemic qualifies as a traumatic experience, which only further contributes to trauma in many individuals, including children. The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California found that many students described their current mental states as lonely, overwhelmed, and anxious at the height of the pandemic. For some students, school is a place to escape certain traumatic experiences at home, such as food insecurity, neglect, poverty, violence, etc. The pandemic only exacerbated these traumas when it temporarily shut down that safe-haven for many students.
How kids handle traumatic experiences is a direct correlation on their mental and physical well-being. Traumatic experiences in childhood, also known as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), are linked to chronic health problems, mental illness, and substance abuse problems in adulthood. ACEs may also negatively impact an individual’s education, job opportunities, and earning potential. Now more than ever, we need schools to be educated on how the pandemic may have further impacted ACEs in their students and how they can better assist students in handling this unforeseen and widespread traumatic experience.
No child should be without support in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why my legislation would establish a grant program to fund COVID-19 trauma-informed education training for schools. No less than $20,000 will be awarded in grants to any brick-and-mortar school entity, including public schools, charter schools, career and technical schools, and nonpublic schools. Further, schools with higher populations and schools with higher levels of student poverty will be provided an appropriate amount of grant funding that aligns with their students’ needs.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation to ensure our children are receiving the kind of support most needed after a traumatic event such as the pandemic.  

Introduced as HB1713