A statewide opioid conference takes on an important issue, how children are affected by the opiate crisis.
More than 700 people attended on Tuesday - first responders, law enforcement, healthcare experts, foster parents, recovery specialists and more.
The theme was "Ideas For Our Future," focusing on addressing childhood trauma to create positive outcomes, organized by the Attorney General's office.
One program highlighted is happening at Highland Elementary School on Columbus’ west side. The school changed its approach.
When the principal arrived three years ago, there were daily suspensions and serious behavioral problems. Much of it stemmed from children reacting to problems outside of school.
Now, all staff are trauma-informed. They teach the students to self-regulate, working on teaching them how to handle feelings in a productive way.
“That some of those long-term issues that we know often happens with students, the dropping out of school, the drug addictions, the incarcerations, those are the things that we’re hoping to really stop,” said principal Elizabeth McNally.
Highland’s trauma-informed approach was showcased as a replicable program at the conference, something that could be done at other schools across the state.