December 18, 2012

The Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy: Resources for educators

Here at McREL, we are heartbroken by the tragedy that occurred last Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School. To the families in Newtown, Connecticut, and across the country who are grieving the loss of loved ones, please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. 

For educators and families anywhere who are in need of some assistance helping children through the continuing effects of this tragedy, please consider the following resources: 

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: Children and Grief  This article describes the normal reactions to expect from young children when they lose a loved one as well as behaviors that indicate professional help is needed. 

American Academy of Pediatrics: Resources to Help Parents, Children and Others Cope in the Aftermath of School Shootings  AAP provides a list of resources for parents/teachers, students, and schools to help cope specifically with the effects of school shootings.  

National Association of School Psychologists: Helping Children Cope - Tips for Parents and Teachers  This handout offers advice for adults, parents, and schools to help children cope with any kind of national tragedy. 

PBS: Talking with Kids About News  PBS offers general strategies for talking and listening to children about news events.  

U.S. Dep’t of Health and Human Services: Tips for Talking to Children and Youth After Traumatic Events - A Guide for Parents and Educators  This brief explains common reactions to traumatic events by preschoolers, young children, and adolescents, and provides tips for helping children and for getting professional help when needed.


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The article from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is a very good read. I think it's important that educators understand the impact of trauma and how this may effect the behaviour of students in their classroom. The long standing effects of trauma often outlive the memory of the incident.

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