If you know anything about New Orleans public schools, you probably know this: Hurricane Katrina wiped them out and almost all the schools became privately run charters.
Many of those schools subscribed to the no excuses discipline model — the idea that if you crack down on slight misbehavior, you can prevent bigger issues from erupting.
That was also true of Crocker College Prep, an elementary school in New Orleans. It had strict rules about everything. Students had to sit up straight at their desks, eyes tracking the speaker. They had to walk the halls in silence and even wear the right kind of socks. Students who broke these rules, or acted out in other ways, were punished.
The thing is, students across New Orleans face high rates of exposure to trauma, but school discipline policies have rarely accounted for that.
Crocker College Prep is now one of five New Orleans charter schools in a collective to become more trauma-informed. That means Crocker aims to account for the social, emotional and behavioral needs of all students, and their lives outside of school. To read more from Mallory Falk, click here.