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Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Michael P. Krezmien

Second Advisor

John Hosp

Third Advisor

Kysa Nygreen

Subject Categories

Disability and Equity in Education | Humane Education | Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education | Student Counseling and Personnel Services


This qualitative case study addresses the critical need to include student perspectives in trauma-informed care in education (TICE). While the literature on TICE is increasing, it largely focuses on clinical intervention outcomes. The current literature fails students in three ways. One, it largely ignores student voices. Two, while the literature makes clear that trauma disproportionately affects students of color, these same students of color feel their voices are unheard and their input unheeded. Three, while there is substantial research on culturally sustaining, anti-racist school initiatives, this research is artificially walled off from the research on TICE. This study suggests how to remedy these omissions and bridge the gap between existing culturally sustaining initiatives and TICE. Conducted at Si Se Puede High School (SSPHS), an alternative institution schooling largely Latinx students, this study explores both student and educator perspectives on how trauma, race and culture influence education. It uses in-depth interviews and field observations to determine the point of view of secondary school students who either voluntarily left or were pushed out of their district’s main high school. Underlying most of the reassignments were either socio-economic adversity or trauma—or an interweaving of each. These trauma-exposed students feel marginalized; their voices ignored, discounted and silenced. Overwhelmingly and most damaging, these students conclude that since no one listens, then no one cares. Findings from student interviews and field observations lead to recommendations to educators on how to develop culturally sustaining trauma-informed schools.


Available for download on Thursday, May 13, 2027