Children of poverty: delayed development

This op-ed by a judge and former parole officer in Georgia is moving. Instead of locking up kids, let’s find ways to address the underlying issues they suffer from, such as poverty, hunger and emotional stress. It seems like common sense. Why aren’t more second chances happening?

From the piece:

Poor children start school behind the eight ball and never catch up. These children come to school each day carrying emotional baggage, worried about what lies ahead at home and in the hood — insecurity about food, clothes, shelter; domestic violence, gunshots, drugs and more.

A child can’t be responsive to a teacher’s instruction with a head full of anxiety, stress, fear and pain. In their desire to survive, they fight, freeze or take flight — the “dumbed-down” description of trauma symptoms.

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