According to the Centers for Disease Control, 30 percent of inner city youth in Oakland suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Doctors at Harvard said they actually suffer from a more complex form of PTSD that some refer to as “hood disease.”
Unlike soldiers, children in the inner city never leave the combat zone. They often experience trauma, repeatedly.
“You could take anyone who is experiencing the symptoms of PTSD, and the things we are currently emphasizing in school will fall off their radar. Because frankly it does not matter in our biology if we don’t survive the walk home,” said Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Ph.D. of San Francisco State University.
In Oakland, about two thirds of the murders last year were actually clustered in East Oakland, 59 people killed.
Teachers and administrators who graduated from Fremont High School in East Oakland and have gone back to work there spoke with KPIX 5.
“These cards that (students) are suddenly wearing around their neck that say ‘Rest in peace.’ You have some kids that are walking around with six of them. Laminated cards that are tributes to their slain friends,” said teacher Jasmene Miranda.
Gun violence is just one stressor that children residing in areas of deep poverty face. Children in these areas often are not well fed. In turn, their health is affected. These types of negative outcomes seriously disrupt school performance researchers say.
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