Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Summer 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Deborah Kipps-Vaughan

Tammy Gilligan

Ashton Trice


Childhood trauma is a hidden epidemic that can have profound impacts on children including significant educational impact. Teachers are responsible for the academic success of all of their students, so it is critical for teachers to be prepared to help a student who has been exposed to trauma to reintegrate back into the classroom. Almost all of the limited research available regarding a teacher’s role in helping students experiencing trauma has been conducted within the elementary schools, so the current study aimed to further the literature by exploring the role of high school teachers in helping students who have experienced trauma. Participants were 166 teachers at four high schools in a combination urban/suburban region of Maryland. Results indicate that the surveyed teachers feel that helping students who have experienced trauma is an important part of their roles in the school, and they want to learn more information on how they can assist these students. Teachers endorsed a variety of strategies they would use to help these students, and they noted several areas in which they would like to receive information. Teachers also reported many barriers they experience to providing this assistance. Concluding findings from this student indicate that offering trauma-sensitive education and practices is not only an elementary school initiative, but a K-12 initiative.