Superintendent Tager's Message Following School Shooting in South Florida
The tragic shooting incident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County earlier today was horrific and incredibly frightening, especially for those who work in schools and have young children of their own. Our hearts go out to the parents and families affected by this tragedy. In times like these, it is important that we, as parents and educators, monitor our children’s reactions, and gauge our response accordingly.
The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) provides the following tips to help children deal with the aftermath of this tragedy.
- Provide a developmentally appropriate, clear, and straightforward explanation of the event.
- Return to normalcy and routine to the best extent possible while maintaining flexibility.
- Let children know that it’s okay to feel upset or angry.
- Be a good listener and observer.
- Provide various ways for children to express emotion, such as through journaling, letter writing, talking, making a collage, or music.
- Focus on resiliency as well as the compassion of others.
The NASP has developed a resource for addressing violence titled Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers. Additional information can also be found at www.nasponline.org.
It is important to keep in mind that an event like this is rare and that schools are one of the safest places for children and youth during the school day. Should you choose to talk with your children about these events, it may help to emphasize that schools are safe places and that all schools conduct drills to ensure safety.
Rest assured that safety is our first priority. Should families need further information or resources, please contact your school principal. District counselors remain available for any student in need of assistance. Thank you for your support.