Berkeley Technology Academy. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Berkeley Technology Academy. Photo: Emilie Raguso

On Wednesday, Berkeleyside reporter Emilie Raguso took an in-depth look at a range of challenges faced by the Berkeley Technology Academy community.

Today, B-Tech teacher John Fike shares his views about where the conversation can go from here.

Fike writes that there is a conversation happening now in Southern California about whether to deem complex trauma — which is experienced by the vast majority of BTA students — a federally recognized disability. If that happens, Fike writes, this could be a “watershed moment in public education in our state and country.”

Fike also notes that, given the huge challenges faced by the students, it makes sense that teachers and other staff on campus would be affected by the intensity, too.

“In a broad sense, the article about our school is an accurate reflection of all these complex emotions and responses. The ‘alarm’ that was raised in that article needs to be understood as a desperate cry for help in a profoundly challenging situation,” he writes.

What do you think? Read the op-ed and share your thoughts in the comments section there.

Berkeleyside welcomes submissions of op-ed articles. We ask that we are given first refusal to publish. Topics should be Berkeley-related, local authors are preferred, and we don’t publish anonymous pieces. Email submissions, as Word documents or embedded in the email, to The recommended length is 500-800 words. Please include your name and a one-line bio that includes full, relevant disclosures. Berkeleyside will publish op-ed pieces at its discretion.

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