San Jose schools watching students for PTSD after flood

SAN JOSE (KGO) -- Schools in and around San Jose's flooded neighborhoods are watching students carefully this week for signs of trauma and stress. At one school in particular, one in 10 students is from a family displaced from their homes.

About 80 of the 850 students at Shirakawa School have been impacted by the flood. The trauma of being displaced and suffering losses has teachers and administrators closely monitoring for signs of difficulty coping.

"They see their parents and they just don't know what's going to happen, so that's one of the reasons why we are really focused on making sure we check in with the children," Superintendent Juan Cruz said.

RELATED: Single donor gives $5 million to SJ flood relief fund

The trouble signs might include inattentiveness, being disruptive, fidgeting, fighting or lashing out at teachers. Teachers know their students best.

"They can see if there's a change in their behavior, a change in their work and then be able then to follow up with services for those children," Cruz said.

RELATED: Donations pour into San Jose flood shelters

That's when referrals are made to child counselors. Monitoring will include all students because classmates see the sadness around them.

Eight year old Esther Gomez is giving up recess today to fold clothing at the school's community donation center. One of her classmates is a flood victim.

"We were all like sad that her house got flooded," Gomez said.

Helping others can ease pain and lift spirits. Besides the donation center, the school's gofundme page has raised over $32,000.

"As the families come in and deplete what we have, other families come in and replenish what we need. It's just overwhelming what's going on here. Thank god we have a community like this that comes together," parent and volunteer David Gomez said.

Click here for more information on how to help those affected by the San Jose floods.
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.