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Originally Published as "Social Emotional Learning To Address Systemic Injustice," Journal and Courier, August 7, 2021.
The start of a new school year marks an important step towards normalcy for children in the wake of COVID-19. After more than a year of virtual learning and staying socially distant from friends and teachers, school can once again be a place where children learn to build trusting relationships, establish community, and make decisions to benefit the common good.
In recognition of the value of social and emotional learning (SEL), the governor of Indiana signed into law a bill ensuring that new teachers are trained in practices that support students who have experienced trauma. The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) also updated its SEL competencies for grades K-12 to better address the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.