By Jen Curt, CTIPP's Director of Government Affairs
Educating Your Congressperson on Trauma-Informed Schools
Thank you for your commitment to creating and sustaining trauma-informed change!
Your support is essential to the success of the Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP), and we are excited to equip you with the enclosed toolkit.
In August 2022, CTIPP published a new report that is intended to introduce policymakers to the concept of trauma-informed schools. The streamlined report breaks down the benefits and practices of trauma-informed schools and includes:
Foreword by Jim Sporleder, Former Principal, Lincoln High School
How does trauma show up in the classroom?
Why the status quo isn’t working
The benefits of trauma-informed schools
Elements of a trauma-informed transformation (curriculum, policies, practices)
Real-world examples of trauma-informed education practices
Your advocacy will ensure that Congresspeople and their staff read the report to understand the value of trauma-informed transformation in education. You can also offer additional guidance on steps they can take to advance the cause.
Visit ctipp.org for regular updates and additional toolkits as we make progress together.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW TO CONTACT YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS:
You have one representative in the U.S. House and two in the Senate.
First, to find out who your U.S. House representative is, visit https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative and enter your zip code.
For a list of U.S. Senators, visit https://www.senate.gov/senators/
Next, visit your representative’s official website (usually [LAST NAME].house.gov or [LAST NAME].senate.gov).
Then, navigate to their “Contact Me” or “Share Your Opinion” page. Fill out the email form. If they prompt you to select a topic, select “Education.”
E-MAIL BODY (copy/paste):
Hello [Senator/Representative] [LAST NAME],
I wanted to call your attention to a new resource from the Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP): Trauma-Informed Schools Report, readable at https://www.ctipp.org/post/report-trauma-informed-schools.
We know that trauma-informed schools significantly decrease school suspension and expulsion while increasing academic achievement, teacher retention, and student graduation rates. They support students, teachers, and other school staff members, especially those who have experienced trauma and improve the health, mental well-being, and safety of the entire school community.
This report will introduce you to the concept, including what defines a trauma-informed school, concrete steps to take, and real-world examples from Hawaii and Texas. It’s important to note that many schools are adopting this work nationwide.
Several legislative proposals would help more schools across the country to transform into trauma-informed environments. For example, the bipartisan, bicameral H.R. 8494/S. 4614 Trauma-Informed Schools Act will invest in teacher professional development, after-school programs, and charter schools to provide school staff with the training and resources they need to utilize trauma-informed care. I encourage you to co-sponsor this important legislation.
[OPTIONAL MEETING REQUEST] I would like to meet with you or a member of your staff to discuss this report further, answer questions, and share what you, as a policymaker, can do to help.
Thank you for your time!
[INSERT YOUR NAME]
[INSERT YOUR ORGANIZATION, IF APPLICABLE]
[INSERT YOUR PREFERRED METHOD OF COMMUNICATION]
Sample Social Media Posts
NOTE: Most Representatives are active on social media, in particular, Twitter and Facebook. Simply search and copy/paste their handle with the @ symbol (E.G., @SenatorDurbin).
DYK #TraumaInformed #schools can decrease school suspensions and expulsions significantly? Learn more about transforming school cultures at https://www.ctipp.org/post/report-trauma-informed-schools. #TransformTrauma #HOPEisNEAR
Want to learn how #TraumaInformed #schools are transforming communities nationwide? Check out a new report that provides how #trauma shows up in the #classroom, why the status quo isn’t working & real-world examples: https://www.ctipp.org/post/report-trauma-informed-schools. #TransformTrauma #HOPEisNEAR
Dear @INSERTHANDLE, please co-sponsor the #TraumaInformed #Schools Act to invest in teacher development, after-school programs & more so communities have resources to build #healing & #resilience. Learn more: https://www.ctipp.org/post/report-trauma-informed-schools. #TransformTrauma #HOPEisNEAR