DIXON – Exactly one week after the shooting at Dixon High School, the Dixon Education Association (DEA) will host a community screening of Paper Tigers on Wednesday, May 23 at 6:30 p.m. The documentary is part of the Illinois Education Association’s (IEA) trauma-informed work.

“We need safe schools, and we can do that by building a trauma informed community.” said DEA President Karen Chamberlain. “Our students should not be afraid of coming to school. We need to train our teachers and support staff to recognize signs of stress, anxiety and isolation in our students, especially in the case of traumatic experiences.”

Paper Tigers follows students at Lincoln High School, an alternative school that specializes in educating traumatized youth. It intimately examines the inspiring promise of trauma-informed communities – a movement that is helping heal youth struggling with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

Studies show when a student is scared or has anxiety, often from events happening outside of school, that child’s performance and ability to learn is diminished. Trauma-informed training for teachers, support staff, administrators and community members is crucial in recognizing students who fly under the radar or are disfranchised. We need to identify these kids who need help and connect them with the services they need.

The screening is being put on by the IEA in conjunction with the Dixon Education Association, Dixon School Board and the Historic Dixon Theatre, with support from local law enforcement and community health providers.

“This is something the entire community needs to be aware of. Students are resilient. We know that if we can reach out to those students experiencing trauma, we can really make a difference,” said retired IEA member and Dixon School Board member Linda Wegner. “We can do this if we all work together.”

A panel discussion will follow the documentary. The panel will answer audience questions while highlighting the need for trauma-informed practices in both schools and communities to combat the school shooting epidemic and other critical adverse childhood experiences head on.

The Paper Tigers screening is Wednesday (May 23) at 6:30 p.m. at the Historic Dixon Theater (114 S. Galena Ave., Dixon, Illinois).  The event is free and will be hosted by DEA President Chamberlain.

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The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest education employee’s organization. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.