Resources for Educators, Families to Discuss School Shootings
The school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, is the latest horrifying act of violence in our country.
This senseless loss of life will be difficult for adults to process on their own while trying to support children and young people. Our students want and need to talk about what they see, remember, and are feeling now; they need the guidance and safety of adults in their lives to be able to navigate their own emotions and trauma in a healthy, safe, and productive way. Adults need to be able to acknowledge and address their own emotional responses in order to best support young people.
Recognizing and Honoring Big Feelings
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
Call the National Parent Helpline at 1-855-4A PARENT (1-855-427-2736) to get emotional support from a trained Advocate. They are available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The County of San Diego’s Deputy Director for Behavioral Health Services Dr. Piedad Garcia shares ways to respond to children following violent events. The article is also available in Spanish.
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. Child Mind Institute offers strategies to help kids deal with trauma.
Very Well Family provides open-ended questions to discuss school shootings with your child.
While we know schools remain among the safest places for students, we also know that today's shooting in Uvalde, Texas may understandably cause heightened emotions and concern about safety issues.
You can't educate students without them being safe; it's a responsibility San Diego County school leaders and employees take very seriously. Every San Diego County school has a safety plan and procedures that contribute to maintaining a safe learning environment for our students. School personnel will be reviewing those plans and continuing to implement best practices in maintaining the safety and security of our schools.
San Diego County school districts work closely with law enforcement agencies to build systems that aim to prevent violent episodes in local schools. SDCOE staff members provide training, technical assistance, and direct services to assist school districts in developing and supporting their Comprehensive School Safety Plans.
- The SDCOE Diamond Safety Team training is scheduled June 13-16 for school leaders, resource officers, school counselors, social workers, and school psychologists to work together in creating a safe campus.
More to explore
School districts and charter schools in North County will be hiring for a variety of teaching and non-teaching positions at a special Careers in Education Job Fair July 23 at the North County Regional Education Center, 255 Pico Ave. in San Marcos.
The learning acceleration grant project aims to address students’ learning recovery and acceleration by providing access to reading supports and intervention.
The 2022 Stuff the Bus school supplies drive officially kicks off today as the San Diego County Office of Education and San Diego County Credit Union team up for the eighth straight year to help the region’s students who are experiencing homelessness.
The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) honored nearly 100 employees recently for their combined 1,625 years of service to the organization.
Forty local teachers recognized by their districts as teachers of the year are now nominees for San Diego County Teacher of the Year. Five will be named the 2022-23 San Diego County Teachers of the Year at a special reception on Friday, Aug. 26 as part of the 32nd annual “Cox Presents: Salute to Teachers,” brought to you by San Diego County Credit Union.
The San Diego County Office of Education's four Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPAs) recently celebrated a nearly 50 individuals for their impact on inclusive education and improving outcomes for students.