Following the senseless losses in Buffalo due to hate and racist ideologies, the news of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas is devastating to all of us. The thought that so many families' lives are shattered is hard to reckon with. I know many of us are trying to verbalize our own feelings, while answering concerns from parents and students. It is not easy, however, I find comfort in knowing there are school counselors in schools trying to make sense of a senseless act, and comforting our students, families and staff; assuring them in a very uncertain world. Schools should be a sanctuary of safety and learning. Yet, we find ourselves responding to these situations time and time again. Enough is enough. While we work through our own emotions, we know that we have a responsibility and a duty, as mental health leaders, to stand in solidarity as the first line of defense. Never underestimate your leadership role in times of crisis and emergency response.
Here is an excerpt from CASC’s Open Letter on Non-Violence:
So what do we do? Children are bombarded by images of violence in the media and must be given the tools, support, and a safe space to process their feelings and questions in line with their developmental stage. If you notice that your child is impacted by these traumatic events, set boundaries and limit social media and news consumption. It is crucial that we listen with unconditional positive regard and without interjection, and that we encourage peaceful, non-judgmental conversations. We may not have all the answers, but these conversations can be teachable moments.
Here are some suggestions for dialogue starters:
• What do you know about the events that occurred?
• How do you feel about what happened? • What questions do you have?
• How do you determine what is fact versus opinion?
As we continue to navigate the unfolding developments of this tragedy, we continue to stand in solidarity with our PPS partners (California Association of School Psychologists and California Association of School Social Workers) and school nurses to address the needs of our school communities and band together our collective efforts to provide resources. For additional resources, please visit the following:
Resources for Parents and Educators:
Resources for educators: