Dear Parents & 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 incident that occurred in Minneapolis last week, and the response both nationally and locally over the weekend.
The death of George Floyd is another horrific example of systemic racism that quite simply is unacceptable. This most recent incident, in the shadow of COVID-19, has made very apparent issues of inequity across society that can no longer be tolerated. Local citizens, including members of our own school community, supported this notion over the weekend by participating in peaceful protests, intended to result in awareness and positive change. Unfortunately, these efforts were marred by the actions of a few who chose to loot and riot. Locally this impacted a number of small and minority-owned businesses. It has also impacted the community, including some of our own students and families.
Such 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; still others will not react outwardly at all.
We want you to know we are here to support you and your children. We have compiled some resources below that you might find helpful for your own personal understanding, in conversations with others, and in talking with your children. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (518) 465-4561 ext. 156.
Dr. Maureen A. 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.