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109 W. Madison Mt. Ayr, IA 50854 View Location

Sep 25

Free Showing of “Paper Tigers” on October 11

A free showing of “Paper Tigers” is open to the public on Wednesday, October 11, at 6:30 PM, at the Princess Theater, 101 W. Monroe Street, in Mt. Ayr, Iowa.  “Paper Tigers” is an intimate look into the lives of selected students at Lincoln High School, an alternative school that specializes in educating traumatized youth.  Set amidst the rural community of Walla Walla, WA, the film examines the inspiring promise of Trauma Informed Communities — a movement that is showing great promise in healing youth struggling with the dark legacy of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES).

Exposure to chronic and adverse stress (and the altered brain function that results) leaves a child in a fruitless search for comfort and escape from a brain and body that are permanently stuck in flight or fight.  That comfort comes in the form of drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, sex, food and more.

Every year, millions of unloved and traumatized youth enter adulthood with damaged brains and hearts.  They are highly predisposed to die from self-destructive behaviors, and highly likely to continue the cycle of abuse.  Even those who do not engage in self-destructive behaviors are highly predisposed to get cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and immune disorders.

The impact of unloved and traumatized children on society is profound and widespread.  85% of inmates were traumatized as youth.  27% of hospital visits can be traced to causes linked to childhood trauma.  Hurt kids grow up to hurt people.  The generational cycle of trauma and abuse are as stubborn as they are tragic.  But there is hope!

There are doctors, researchers, teachers, nurses, social workers and law enforcement officers that are turning the tide against the cycle of trauma and abuse.  A movement is rising, one that sees aberrant behavior in children as a symptom rather than a moral failing.  This movement asks not what is wrong with our youth, but rather what has happened to them.  The paradigm is shifting from punishment and blame to a deeper commitment to understanding and healing the underlying causes of aberrant behavior.  With this shifting paradigm comes the promise of great improvements in many of society’s costly ills:  less crime, less illness, less teen pregnancy, abuse, rape, divorce.

Simply put, it is cheaper to heal than to punish.  “Paper Tigers” takes a look at what is possible.  The film shows how an entire system change can change to better respond to childhood trauma.  Trauma happens in our community.  This trauma affects our children and community members.  So what can we do as a community to make changes to better the lives of our children and positively impact our community?

Please join us at the Princess Theater to view this film sponsored by Marion County Public Health.  You can learn more at  You can view a preview at