CA schools to address emotional trauma brought on by COVID-19, death of George Floyd

 As California schools prepare for the challenges of the upcoming academic year, students may be wrestling with emotional trauma brought on by the pandemic and the death of George Floyd.  

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said with the abrupt shift to distance learning, thousands of students across California may not have been able to check-in with their teachers or complete class assignments.

In some cases, Thurmond said, their families were forced to move due to impacts related to COVID-19, while others needed to scramble for essential needs with their families.

"So we are intensifying our efforts to address the social, emotional, and mental health needs of our students," Thurmond said. 

The superintendent said by some estimates, there are more than 270,000 students currently experiencing homelessness, many because of the pandemic. 

The Department of Education is pulling together a coalition of support groups to address the needs of students at every level.

"For students who are homeless and have food insecurity. For students who we know are experiencing depression and sadness related to being in a shelter-in-place," Thurmond said. "And we know that when students return to campus they will have needs for additional support." 

The death of Geroge Floyd and renewed conversations around police brutality may have also triggered some emotions for students and teachers alike—grief, anger, and fear. 

Thurmond called for counseling groups to assist the state in providing resources those mentally and emotionally drained.