While we are all struggling to process this tragic event (students, staff, families and communities) it is important that we collectively work together to support the feelings each of us individually will be experiencing during this process. Undoubtedly, we will all benefit from supporting one another.
We understand and recognize that students and staff enter our buildings with varying degrees of awareness surrounding the event and we are committed to navigating the situation in a manner that validates feelings and reinforces the sense of security. At the same time, we are being mindful of age-appropriate classroom conversations so as not to create distress. Our school counselors and our entire staff stand ready and are working in and across the schools to provide support to our students and staff. Additionally, we are providing the resources below from our counseling team for families and staff to review and to help support with facilitating the difficult discussions that may arise.
Please know that our schools have emergency operation plans and practice emergency procedures throughout the school year. Students are aware that in an emergency situation, listening to and following directions is vitally important for the safety of all. We also work closely with law enforcement and safety agencies to review our emergency plans and assist us with identifying areas that can be improved. We will continue with those efforts to provide a safe and secure environment for our students and our staff.
Lastly, one of the most important actions any of us can take to help keep our schools safe is to speak up if you see or hear anything that may be of concern. If you have any questions or concerns as it relates to this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to reach out to your student(s) counselor, principal or teacher(s). Our communities, our schools, our families, our staff and our students have demonstrated how amazing they are in supporting one another when it matters most, this, regrettably, is one of those times.
The SAU 29 K-12 School Counseling Team understands that the recent events in Texas have left us feeling a wide array of emotions including sadness, uncertainty, shock, and much more.The SAU 29 school counselors will be available to talk with students and families who may need support. Here are some recommendations from the American School Counseling Association to help families navigate this tragic event.
Try to keep routines as normal as possible. Kids gain security from the predictability of routine, including attending school.
Limit exposure to television and the news.
Be honest with kids and share with them as much information as they are developmentally able to handle.
Listen to kids’ fears and concerns.
Reassure kids that the world is a good place to be, but that there are people who do bad things.
Parents and adults need to first deal with and assess their own responses to crisis and stress.
Rebuild and reaffirm attachments and relationships.
For additional links to resources from ASCA: Helping Students After a School Shooting