Nick Morio, trauma and resiliency coach (Credit WKBN 27 News)
Source: WFMJ 21 news
Read time: 2.5 minutes
Akron Children’s School Health Services hired an individual to fill a new position called a “trauma and resiliency coach” who will work with local schools.
Who Is Doing This?
Akron Children’s is a hospital and outpatient clinics system that provides pediatric care in multiple counties in northeast Ohio. The system includes a School Health Services program to treat primarily medical problems in school-based clinics. Addressing trauma and stress in schools has not previously been a service they offer.
Covelli Enterprises, one of the largest restaurant franchisees in the United States, provided the funding.
Nick Morio, a former educator, will be the new trauma and resiliency coach. He does not appear to be a licensed counselor. It’s not clear what his training is for this position.
The premise is that when teachers learn how trauma and stress impacts a wide range of children’s emotions, sense of self, learning, aggression (and much more) then they can implement new skills in classrooms to make children and schools more successful.
Why is the coach needed? The justification for this new position, according to Missy McClain, Community Outreach Coordinator for Akron Children’s, is that trauma has a wide and enduring impact on everything. In an interview, she stated, Trauma “is more than just about experiencing sad or scary things. . . . And it can impact us throughout our lives. And it can impact the ways we’re able to behave at school, the ways we’re able to learn in school, the ways we’re able to communicate about our feelings, our physical health as we grow older. Trauma is something that can color everything that we do in our lives.” (emphasis added).
What will the coach do? He will go into schools to help teachers and other school staff understand what children are going through after experiencing trauma and stress. He will provide professional development for teachers and tips on classroom planning to help keep troubled children in classrooms. McClain stated that she thinks of the coaching job as “building a culture of wellness for all of the students who are there but especially for our students who might be having a tougher time at home or in their communities.” McClain explained that the coach will educate teachers on how to help students handle stress “through positive communication,” and “coping mechanisms like taking deep breaths, and counting to ten, and, you know, even doing things like mindfulness can really help.”
The theory that trauma and stress have enduring impacts on every aspect of our lives is the identical theory behind the unproven adverse childhood experiences (ACE) theory, the toxic stress myth, and the debunked theory of the best-selling book The Body Keeps the Score. Many schools have implemented various types of these programs across the country over the past ten years. There is little good or consistent evidence that the programs have positive impacts on school attendance, learning, disruptive behavior, or mental health. It is unlikely that this program will truly help many children who are struggling with these issues.
Given recent publicity about teachers across the nation providing controversial gender and race communications without parental awareness, it was notable that McClain's description of the job did not include how parents would be informed of or give consent for interventions with students.
Why Is This Happening?
These types of programs keep expanding across the country because they are seamless with the ideological beliefs of many educators that human nature is highly malleable by life experiences and a more ideal society can be reached someday if we invest more. These types of interventions are in line philosophically with other controversial efforts by schools to teach progressive interpretations of race and gender.
How will they know if it works? No plan for program evaluation was announced. It is impossible to gather conclusive evidence on the effectiveness of uncontrolled, unsystematic, and unstandardized interventions like this one. At best, the program ought to document case reports of how individual teachers and students were helped.
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