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Mental health research concerning adverse childhood experiences and neurocognitive trauma has prompted many school districts to pursue the development of trauma-informed schools that attend specifically to the emotional and instructional needs of affected students. Researchers and practitioners are fast proliferating trauma-informed professional practices. Given research findings indicating disproportionate impacts of trauma on students of color and those living in poverty, in this article, we examine the risks of trauma-informed educational programs reanimating cultural deficit theories from the 1960s about marginalized students and families. Educators are challenged to thoughtfully fortify trauma-informed schooling by increasing awareness of deficit perspectives and incorporating critical anti-racist, equity-focused practices.


This article was originally published in Equity & Excellence in Education in 2023.

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Creative Commons License

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



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