BALTIMORE (AP) — Officials in Baltimore and other cities are creating unique learning spaces to help students traumatized by violence and poverty.

Trauma-sensitive schools offer mental-health clinicians, mindfulness exercises, and abundant “peace corners” with pillows and books where students can retreat and compose themselves.

The schools come in response to a growing realization among educators that chronic childhood trauma affects brain development and creates the risk of health problems.

The need to address childhood trauma and mental health was underscored in Baltimore in 2015.

The death of young black man Freddie Gray in police custody brought renewed attention to poverty, inequity and crime in large swaths of Baltimore.

And Baltimore drew national attention when President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday that U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings’ majority-black Baltimore district is a “disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess.”

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