Our hearts are heavy following the tremendous loss of life yesterday at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas. This massacre follows other acts of gun violence in Buffalo, NY, and an increase in gun violence in many of our communities around the state. We send this email on the two-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota.
High profile acts of violence, particularly in schools, can confuse and frighten children who may feel in danger or worry that their friends or loved ones are at risk. They will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and school personnel can help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security and talking with them about their fears.
Resources for Supporting Students:
- Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers (NASP)
- School Shooting Resources(National Child Traumatic Stress Network)
- Talking To Children About Terrorist Attacks And School And Community Shootings In The News (National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement)
It is also critical that educators - including school psychologists - continue to practice critical self care. Following a crisis, teachers are often required to provide additional support to the students in their classes. In addition, crisis responders and mental health professionals are tasked with providing crisis intervention and additional mental health support to the school community following a crisis event. Consequently, it is extremely important for caregivers to monitor their own reactions and take care of their own needs as failure to do so can result in stress and burnout.
Resources for Supporting Educators and Self Care:
- Coping In The Aftermath Of A Shooting (American Counseling Association)
- Self-Care for School Psychologists (NASP)
- Care for Caregivers: Tips for Families and Educators
If you are in need of additional support or resources, please reach out to WSASP.
Cassie Mulivrana, WSASP President
Alex Franks-Thomas, WSASP Immediate Past President, Communications Committee Co-Chair
Sherri Bentley, WSASP Mental Health Committee Co-Chair
Mikael Olson, WSASP Communications Committee Co-Chair, Area 1C Co-Representative