You may have heard the news that Oklahoma had the largest inmate release in the nation’s history this week, with about 500 people being freed due to a change in the law that Oklahomans voted for a few years back. Though some groups tried to fight this, the will of the people eventually prevailed, and now we have more Oklahomans back in the workforce, and hopefully back in their children’s lives.
It was impressive that our state held several “transition fairs” to help people – nearly 36 according to FOX 25. The fairs provided access to organizations who offer housing, transportation, employment and other types of support as they move back into the mainstream.
What I have not read are ideas for how parents and children should readjust to getting back together. Having a parent back in the home is hopefully going to be great for our kids, but even the happiest reunions come with some chaos and growing pains. I expect that those growing pains will spill over into our classrooms.
I don’t know how many Putnam City children are getting parents back into their lives, but I am certain that some will. Our teachers and counselors are no doubt thinking about how they can support the families as these changes occur. We often see children act out and change behavior when there is transition or uncertainty in the home.
Because Putnam City has worked diligently for the past few years on being more trauma-informed, I feel confident that we are equipped with the skills to mitigate any negative issues that may arise in the classroom.
But to be sure this is a joyous occasion for so many families, and it’s good for them too. After the limbo period is over, my hope is that our students and parents can settle in to a stable routine that our children so desperately need to be successful in school and life.