How will our students, especially students of color, receive the not guilty verdict the Zimmerman jury has handed down? Regardless of the basis upon which the mostly white jury reached its decision, this verdict renews the trauma of seeing an unarmed youth shot in his own neighborhood.
This creates a climate of fear for our youth, and every incident such as the shooting of Trayvon Martin, or of Oscar Grant in Oakland, is a fresh trauma. Educators know this takes a very real toll on our students' capacity to learn.
A report carried in the San Francisco Chronicle back in 2007 revealed that many of the children in poor neighborhoods are actually suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The report says:
As many as one-third of children living in our country's violent urban neighborhoods have PTSD, according to recent research and the country's top child trauma experts - nearly twice the rate reported for troops returning from war zones in Iraq.