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Facilitating Dialogue with Compassion

Facilitating Dialogue with Compassion

With the expected release of a video showing five police officers fatally beating a 29-year-old man in Memphis, it’s important for children and adults to be able to share how they’re feeling in a safe and productive way. Children might have questions or strong emotions about it, especially those who have experienced trauma. 

Students need the guidance and safety of adults in their schools to be able to navigate their own emotions and trauma. Classrooms are powerful places to help children process current events, provided educators create safe spaces for students. 

Engage with Open-Ended Questions

When engaging with staff and students, use open-ended questions, such as:

  • What are you curious about?
  • How are you feeling?
  • What needs to be discussed?
  • What terms did you hear that we might need to understand?
  • What might you need right now?

Help the Community Ground Itself


  • What do you value?
  • How will this help guide you?


  • What community do you have to support you?


  • What future do you want to build?


  • What has this situation taught you?
  • What has this situation taught you about the criminal justice system in America?
  • What has this situation taught you about people and communities?

Wellness and Mental Health Resources for Students, Adults 

SDCOE offers training and support related to school safety, school climate and culture, and student mental health and well-being. Learn more about student support topics, and find the training calendar.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network provides resources that can be filtered by topic or keyword and by audience with a focus on how adults can identify traumatic responses in young people and how to support them. 


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