June 11, 2018
The Honorable Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr.
State Capitol, P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0059
RE: AB 2691 (Jones-Sawyer) Pupil health: pupil and school staff trauma: Trauma-Informed Schools Initiative
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer,
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, strongly supports proposed legislation AB 2691 (Jones-Sawyer) to create the Trauma Informed Schools Initiative within the California Department of Education, to provide training and information to school districts and charter schools in ways to help traumatized children succeed in school.
Children exposed to adverse experiences are less engaged in school, miss more days of school, and are more likely to repeat a grade. Exposure to adverse childhood experiences is a major risk factor in many leading causes of illness and death. The Adverse Childhood Experience Study found that a higher percentage of the population has had traumatic experiences than previously expected. Proper training in how to recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma and a focus on how to integrate help for traumatized children into school policies and practices would go a long way toward mitigating the negative effects of adverse childhood experiences.
AB 2691 would address the impact of adverse childhood experiences on the educational outcomes of California pupils by establishing the Trauma-Informed Schools Initiative within the State Department of Education. The initiative would provide information and training to school districts and charter schools, develop a website with information for parents and guardians as well as to schools, and work with University of California and California State University systems to coordinate offering clinical hours to students providing care at public schools.
Pediatrician members of AAP California Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 statewide strongly support your proposed legislation AB 2691. Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.
Chief Executive Officer, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: AAP-CA Leadership; Lobbyist Lydia Bourne