Children struggle as violence hits close to home, experts warn

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Experts say the violence in St. Louis, and especially the recent killings of 12 children, is traumatizing the city’s youngest residents.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that about 300 people turned out Thursday for the meeting the city school district called at Vashon High School after a recent rash of killings that included the deaths of an 8-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy.

Washington University surgeon Dr. Laurie Punch urged the school board to help children understand what they’ve been exposed to, because violence affects their emotional as well as physical health.

Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said many city children were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Teachers are stressed, too. Roosevelt High teacher Charles Murphy, a union steward, said teachers were seeking transfers just four weeks into the school year.

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