Dear Menands Families,
As a school and district, we take very seriously our responsibility to not only educate our students, but to ensure their safety, inclusive of their social-emotional well-being. To that end, I felt compelled to reach out in light of the events that occurred yesterday in our nation’s capital.
Regardless of one’s political views, what transpired was like nothing that our country has experienced in recent history, and goes against the principles that are the bedrock of our democracy. While one of the hallmarks our country is the ability to peacefully disagree and protest, what occurred yesterday was far from that. This was unsettling and scary for adults to witness, so we can imagine what our students – your children – must be thinking and feeling.
Seeing violent behavior and actions can be traumatizing, and even more so during already uncertain and challenging times. Children will respond differently; some may feel upset or have other strong emotions. Some children will react immediately, while others may need some time to process. Others will not react outwardly at all.
Among our charges is to ensure our students feel safe, and to help them through challenging times of uncertainty. To that end, we will be sensitive to their thoughts and feelings in the coming days, and respond to their reactions and questions in a developmentally appropriate manner. We want you to know we are here to support you and your children. We have compiled resources below that you may find helpful. These same resources will be shared with our faculty and staff. Should you have particular questions or concerns, please reach out to our school counselor Cheri Vandenberg by email at email@example.com or by phone (518) 465-4561, ext. 156.
Dr. Maureen Long
- Talking to Children about Community Violence
- Coping with Community Crisis
- Helping Children Cope After a Traumatic Event
- Talking to Kids About Discrimination
Tips for Helping Students During Crisis
- Try and keep routines as normal as possible. Kids gain security from the predictability of routine.
- 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.