In the wake of the , on Friday morning, the Bellevue School District sent out a letter to the families of all students. The staff also are well-schooled on how to closely monitor students for signs of stress and changes in behavior.
Here is the full message from the school district:
By now you may have heard about the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut earlier today. In the aftermath of the tragic events that unfolded, we want to share with you that we are working hard to maintain the routines of school. Our staff has been watchful and caring, and is monitoring our students closely for any signs of distress and providing additional supports.
Such situations can be alarming and upsetting to students who hear about this at school. Counselors are available to speak with students about their feelings and concerns. Teachers and school staff are available to provide adequate support and will be carefully watching for signs of students who may be in need of additional support.
Below are some strategies you could use to help your children understand the day’s events and cope with their feelings:
- Maintain your composure. Children model behavior and may look to you for cues on how to react.
- Reassure your children that they are safe.
- Maintain normal routines. Children need a sense of stability.
- Talk about the tragedy in an age-appropriate manner.
- Be patient. It’s common for children to ask the same questions about death over and over.
- Help children to express their feelings. If they don’t know the words to say how they feel inside, try to help them put their feelings into words and/or use creative ways of communicating, such as through art, writing or music.
- Listen. Ask questions.
- Make yourself available. Your children may need extra time and attention from you.
Additionally, parents are always an important part of the safety solution. Clear and open communication, at home and at school, is crucial to creating and maintaining a healthy emotional environment. Talking to students at home not only helps students practice sharing information verbally with parents or guardians, it encourages them to open up about other possible situations of potential interest to parents. We know parents talk to their children about all subjects; the intent of this letter is to alert you to a potential opportunity which could stir deep emotions in your child.
We are here to help you as parents and protect and nurture your children. Please contact us directly should you have questions or concerns in the days ahead.
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