House advances DeVonís bill to support child abuse victims

House advances DeVonís bill to support child abuse victims

Posted by: Allison Vanatsky  | Tuesday, January 28, 2020

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 28, 2020) – The Indiana House of Representatives Tuesday voted in support of State Rep. Dale DeVon's (R-Granger) bill that would help new teachers recognize and properly respond to signs of trauma in children.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Child Maltreatment Report, there were 25,731 child abuse victims in Indiana in 2018. DeVon said young victims of trauma may experience social, emotional and academic setbacks. His legislation would add trauma response and recognition education to the training new educators must receive in order to qualify for their first teaching license.

“Ask any teacher why they went into the profession, and they’ll tell you it is to help kids,” DeVon said. “However, many teachers may be met with difficulties in the classroom due to children acting out as a response to trauma they experienced outside school. Equipping new teachers in how to spot signs of trauma in children and respond appropriately can help them navigate these challenges when they arise, create a safe learning environment and protect their students from further abuse.”

DeVon said trauma may go unnoticed if an educator or administrator does not know the signs to look for. Identifying trauma early can help a student address their academic or mental health struggles and prepare them with coping skills.

According to DeVon, the proposal has the backing of the Indiana State Teachers Association and Teach Plus.

House Bill 1283 now moves to the Senate for further consideration. Visit iga.in.gov to learn more.

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State Rep. Dale DeVon (R-Granger) represents House District 5, which includes portions of St. Joseph County.

PHOTO CAPTION: State Rep. Dale DeVon (R-Granger) presents his legislation that would help new teachers recognize and properly respond to the signs of trauma in children Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, at the Statehouse in Indianapolis. House Bill 1283 now moves to the Senate for further consideration.