Resources for Responding to Violence and Tragedy
Expert advice for teachers and parents on reassuring children after disturbing events.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12
High profile acts of violence can be traumatic for students as they struggle to understand their feelings of fear, worry, anger, and sadness. They may be wondering: Why did this happen? Could it happen here? Am I safe? And they look to adults for information and guidance on how to react.
The tips, articles, and resources gathered here provide expert advice about anticipating and answering questions about scary news events; ideas on working with parents who may also be struggling to answer their children’s questions; and information on the warning signs that indicate a child is struggling emotionally.
Expert Advice on Talking With Kids
Recognizing the signs of trauma and providing reassurance can help kids rebound from traumatic events.
Kids hear about tragic and disturbing events at school, at home, and through the media, and their concerns often come up in the classroom. What's the best way to deal with them?
Keep misinformation to a minimum: Ask your child what he knows and answer his questions sensitively. From the Scholastic Parents site.
The way you broach the subject of violence with children is critical to helping them cope with it. Child-development expert Dr. James Garbarino shares his advice for teachers.
Guidelines for coping with young children’s concerns and confusion about violence, death, divorce, drugs, and other difficult issues
Resources for Coping With Violence, Trauma, and Grief
These fiction and nonfiction titles will help facilitate conversations about feelings of fear, grief, and loss in the face of violence and tragedy.
These age-specific guides about talking to preschoolers, school-aged children, and adolescents after traumatic events are available as PDFs in English, Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish. From the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA).
Tips and strategies for parents on helping their children feel safe after a shooting rampage. From the American Psychological Association.
Dealing with death at school, tending to crisis caregivers, and managing strong emotional reactions are some of the challenges covered on the National Association of School Psychologists website.
This bereavement resource area brought to you by the New York Life Foundation offers educators guidance and support resources, including a downloadable grief guide, guidelines for responding to the death of a student or school staff member, a sample letter to parents, videos, and more.