1. Trauma-Informed Schools and the Law: Turning Best Practices into Legally-Defensible Practices

Trauma-Informed Schools and the Law: Turning Best Practices into Legally-Defensible Practices

Trauma-Informed Schools and the Law: Turning Best Practices into Legally-Defensible Practices
Event ID: 18721
Session ID: 15951

Duration: 90 minutes including question and answer session.
Presenter(s): Erin Gilsbach, attorney at law, Steckel and Stopp
Price: $299.00 On-Demand includes full audio presentation, question and answer session, and presentation slides.
Who Should Attend? K-12 administrators, district legal counsel, special ed, principals, counselors, coaches, board members, superintendents, teachers, staff
Best For: K-12

Research shows that trauma-informed practices in schools can reduce difficult student behaviors and help foster more meaningful relationships between staff and students who have experienced significant childhood trauma. It is not always clear, however, how legal processes fit into that system. What’s the difference between a trauma-informed best practice and a legally-required accommodation? Are all students with a history of childhood trauma protected under the law? If not, what are the determining factors?

Please join Erin D. Gilsbach as she explores the trauma-informed approach and helps schools understand how to successfully implement disability laws such as Section 504 and the IDEA within that protective process. She examines the interplay between legal requirements and trauma-informed best practices and provides concrete details about the role of the law within the trauma-informed educational process. Using practical examples and common situations, she provides a comprehensive view of this important topic.


Just a sampling of what this webinar will cover:

  • Provide a summary overview of the trauma-informed approach to education
  • Identify the legal benefits of trauma-informed practices
  • Explain the difference between trauma-informed practices and legally-required accommodations
  • Identify how schools can avoid some of the common legal issues presented by trauma-informed practices
  • Provide practical tips and tools for schools to use to establish legally-defensible best practices


Your conference leader for “Trauma-Informed Schools and the Law: Turning Best Practices into Legally-Defensible Practices” is Erin Gilsbach. Ms. Gilsbach is a practicing school law attorney with the PA-based law firm of Steckel and Stopp. She is an experienced speaker at the state and national levels on matters regarding school law and a frequent author on education law topics. She currently serves as the president of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) Solicitor’s Association and is a member of the board of directors of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) Council of School Attorneys (COSA). Ms. Gilsbach provides a wide variety of training programs, as well as legal consulting services, to school districts, charter schools, non-public schools, and education-related organizations. She specializes in school policy and procedure legal defensibility audits as well as professional development in areas of special education, school technology, nursing and school health services, truancy prevention, child abuse prevention and mandated reporting, educator evaluation and discipline, and many other trending school law topics. Prior to attending law school, she taught high school English. Prior to entering private practice, she served for over two years at the PA Dept. of Education’s Office of Chief Counsel. Ms. Gilsbach was voted by her peers as a SuperLawyers “Rising Star Attorney” for 5 consecutive years and is an active member of and frequent presenter and author for NSBA, COSA, the national Education Law Association (ELA), PSBA, the LRP Institute, the National Business Institute (NBI), the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI), and a number of other legal and educational organizations. She is currently writing a book for LRP publications on school health services that is scheduled for publication in the fall of 2019.

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