It's been just over a week and the Virginia Tech massacre is still fresh on everyone's mind. It's such a senseless and helpless moment for students, teachers and parents to deal with. As educators, we're with our students so much, that they really become our own and just the thought of losing even one of them is difficult to fathom. No one will ever be prepared for that. There's also a very delicate balance as to, how to inform our kids of such acts; and what is too much information? So as we, as a global community of learners try to piece together these unfortunate truths to our students, I highly recommend we start HERE at the Hutchinson Leader; writers Ellie McCann and Kathleen Olson provide tips on how to talk to children when something like this happens. It's a start. They also recommend that we talk to your children about school shootings, "Preschoolers through age 5 may have seen reports on the news. Begin by saying, “That looks pretty scary, doesn’t it? What do you think about it?” For school-age children, ask if they have seen the reports and talk about your own feelings by saying, “I’m very sad for all of those people and their families.”
On the same note, the University of Minnesota deserves major kudos! They have loads of resources at their site, Preventing Violence In Our Schools. They also provide practical and updated information for parents, teachers, administrators and students at all levels. It's very impressive, well thought out information that covers a lot of ground work. Let's just hope in the future we don't have to visit these sites often.
Readers, please email me your own tips, strategies and thoughts on how to handle this very disturbing trend of violence in our schools. Each of us can make a difference.