Even though last week's shooting rampage took place many miles away from the safe haven we call White Hall, it still hit very close to home. In addition to the grieving and sorrow left in it's wake, it also left many questions and just as many potential reasons on the cause. Though law enforcement officials have not yet dove deep enough to find the answers, parents, guardians and the school staff here are also searching for answers of their own and for when approached by their children. How do you talk to talk to your children about this? and how can you relieve their worries of being safe?
Local law enforcement and school officials immediately tried to head off any potential anxieties that may arise by stationing officers at each school this week and school faculty members were prepared to be watchful for any signs of distress as students returned to school on Monday. According to Amy Allen, a counselor at G.R. Taylor Elementary School, most importantly, be confident and reassuring when talking to the children, do not show any fear or angst. Allen also offered several tips and a link to a website on the subject.
• Try and keep routines as normal as possible. Kids gain security from the predictability of routine, including attending school.
• Limit exposure to television and the news.
• Be honest with kids and share with them as much information as they are developmentally able to handle.
• Listen to kids' fears and concerns.
• Reassure kids that the world is a good place to be, but that there are people who do bad things.
• Parents and adults need to first deal with and assess their own responses to crisis and stress.
• Rebuild and reaffirm attachments and relationships.
Allen also added that the district does have a crisis plan in place which enables the schools to be 'locked down" should a crisis ever arise.