by Gabi Ross

The upcoming presidential elections further fuel a climate of hate that also impacts children.  As we cope with unprecedented circumstances, we tend to normalize ways of being that aren’t normal. While this is a survival mechanism, it may lead us to overlook or minimize the effects on children and youth. 

Both, the Covid pandemic and the fires along the West Coast, have escalated the housing crisis for many. Children whose families are homeless (defined as living in a shelter, sharing housing with others or staying in cars, motels, trailer parks, camp grounds or other inadequate arrangements due to lack of stable housing) have educational rights as specified by the McKinney-Vento Act.  Those include staying at their school of origin or being able to immediately enroll in a school where they are currently staying without having to produce documents such as certificates of residency, guardianship papers (unaccompanied homeless youth can enroll themselves), immunization or other school records. Barriers to education are to be removed. For more information:

School House Connection

National Center for Homeless Education    

Trainers at RNW strive to incorporate efforts to be trauma informed in all our trainings. We will offer our popular training on “Trauma, Resiliency and Restorative Justice” again on October 28 (check website for details). Meanwhile here are some resources for addressing trauma with children and youth:  

Sesame Street Communities 

Trauma Transformed  

o Additional resources are: a guide to bystander intervention from Southern Poverty Law Center and a video with 6 steps to intervene from the Barnard Center for Research on Women.

o  Report hate crimes here.

o  For teachers, here are resources: to bring the Black Lives Matter movement into the classroom and support students in understanding and processing elections and democracy