© 2012

Reclaiming School in the Aftermath of Trauma

Advice Based on Experience

  • Editors
  • Carolyn Lunsford Mears

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Understanding Trauma

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Carolyn Lunsford Mears
      Pages 3-11
  3. Learning from Trauma

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 43-43
    2. Carolyn Lunsford Mears
      Pages 91-115
    3. Marilyn Saltzman
      Pages 117-133
    4. Russell T. Jones, Katharine Donlon, Kelly Dugan Burns, Kathryn Schwartz-Goel, Mary Kate Law
      Pages 153-173
    5. Carolyn Lunsford Mears
      Pages 193-214
  4. Putting Pain to Work

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 215-215
    2. Carolyn Lunsford Mears
      Pages 217-219
    3. Carolyn Lunsford Mears
      Pages 221-225
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 227-233

About this book


Teachers in schools where students have experienced trauma face particularly difficult challenges, for how is a teacher to promote academic growth and attainment of educational goals in such a situation? Provides advice, understanding, and proven strategies for meeting the challenges that must be faced after a traumatic experience.


children memory trauma

About the authors

Carolyn Lunsford Mears, PhD, the author of the award winning study Experiences of Columbine Parents: Finding a Way to Tomorrow and of the books Reclaiming School in the Aftermath of Trauma and Interviewing for Education and Social Science Research: The Gateway Approach , holds a research position, serves on the Graduate School of Social Work Trauma Certificate Board, and is dissertation advisor and adjunct faculty at the Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver, USA.

Bibliographic information


"This one is hard to put down! By meeting numerous individuals who have survived the pain of disaster and the healing of recovery, readers learn how to confront future events so as to become not just who they are, but who they would like to be. Experiences from school shootings ranging from Columbine and Platte Canyon High Schools, Virginia Tech, and the Jokela School Center in Tuusula, Finland, are juxtaposed with those who survived Katrina, the 9/11 attacks, and school bullying. We leave with an enriched understanding of how pain can be put to work. The writing is crisp; the analyses are told by those who actually were there; and the lessons provide food for thought to all, be they teachers, administrators, parents, or community members. A must-read!" - Thomas E. Drabek, author of The Human Side of Disaster; Professor Emeritus, University of Denver

"Reclaiming School in the Aftermath of Trauma is a must-read. The strategies shared by Carolyn Mears are a great resource for any school that is faced with tragedy. The stories shared are inspirational for readers to see how communities and schools were able to overcome adversity in their lives and communities and provide a road map to recovery.' - Frank DeAngelis, Principal, Columbine High School

"This book has particular relevance to international schools because these schools are often located in unstable countries or places where the risks are higher for terrorism or catastrophic events. Equally important to taking preventative measures is to prepare for the aftermath of an unforeseen trauma or catastrophe. By presenting the varied real life accounts this book provides a framework for every school administration to ask the questions that will help develop a plan that is best for each unique school." Katherine Johnson, Director, Human Resources, Singapore American School

"Carolyn Mears . . . provides an excellent firsthand analysis of the reactions and phases individuals experience on the pathway to recovery. She also provides a variety of practical and realistic activities to help with the recovery process." - John Nicoletti, Police Psychologist, Nicoletti-Flater Associates

"This book should be required reading on every campus, regardless of size. Recent history has shown no school is immune to random violence. Carolyn Mears offers a guide to responding to the unthinkable; a practical map to shortening the road to recovery." - Donald Donahue, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland; Former Program Director, Health Policy & Preparedness at the Potomac Institute for Policy

'Reclaiming School in the Aftermath of Trauma: Advice Based on Experience is an excellent text for educators who wish to learn about and take preventative measures against traumatic events and random violence. The compilation, through the inclusion of varied real-life accounts, is also beneficial to those currently facing the aftermath of an unexpected trauma.' - Susan Delaney, Association of Texas Professional Educators News