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Those in helping professions who work with individuals in trauma are at risk for developing symptoms of secondary trauma. Many helping professions, like social workers and mental health counselors, have training and support to help them recognize and mitigate the symptoms of secondary trauma. Like social workers, school leaders also work closely with children in trauma. However, they lack the necessary training, support, and knowledge about secondary to help them manage their symptoms. The intent of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore how school leaders experience secondary trauma and how they believe secondary trauma effects their leadership. The research was conducted using one-on-one semi –structured interviews. The data was coded and interpreted to help better understand how school leaders experience the phenomenon of secondary trauma. Findings revealed that, in the absence of formal training, school leaders either repress or suppress the effects of secondary trauma so they can fulfill the responsibilities of their leadership role. The recommendations of this study include: revised school policy to include wellness and mental health, the inclusion of secondary trauma training in educational leadership certification programs, and continued study of this under-researched phenomenon in school leaders.

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