Dear LUESD Families,
The news of another unthinkable tragedy has sent shock waves across our schools and communities as we learn of yet another mass shooting in America, this time at an elementary school in Texas. This senseless loss of life is difficult to process. And yet, our children are looking to adults for support and reassurance.
The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) tips for parents and educators to talk with children about violence suggests adults:
- Reassure children they are safe and review safety procedures
- Create a sense of safety by returning to normal, predictable routines as soon as possible
- Make time to talk and listen to the concerns and feelings of children
- Limit the use of media consumption of these events to lower their stress and to maintain balance and perspective
- Acknowledge that sleep difficulties are common and can lead to fatigue and poor participation
The American Psychological Association (APA) has tips for managing your own distress following a mass shooting including:
- Reaching out for support from other adults (friend or professional)
- Honoring your feelings and taking time for yourself, especially if you’re experiencing personal loss or grief
- Limiting your amount of media coverage of these events
- Find ways to help in your community
The APA recommends honesty with children – acknowledging that bad things do happen, but reassuring them with the information that many people are working to keep them safe.
Helping Children Cope With Terrorism from NASP offers tips for families and educators. Translations of this handout are available in Amharic, Chinese, French, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese. There is also a companion infographic.
Common Sense Media has suggestions on how to talk to kids about school shootings in a way that’s age appropriate and helps them feel safe again.
Very Well Family provides open-ended questions to discuss school shootings with your child.
Our Lemoore Union Elementary School District is committed to ensuring a safe learning environment for all students and staff. We have a safety plan in place, practice drills with students and staff, and provide social and emotional supports.
We hope these resources will help you talk to your children if the subject of school gun violence comes up. Please reach out to us if you are in need of additional support. In the meantime, our hearts are with the families, students, staff, and community of Uvalde, Texas.