May 26, 2022
When the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting happened, we thought we had seen enoughWhen the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting took place, then we thought we had seen enough. In 2022 alone there have been 27 school shootings involving deaths or injuries. We’ve seen enough.
As an organization led by parents who serve families and work to ensure all children have access to the educational supports and services they need, as well as being longstanding advocates for educators and family serving professionals, our hearts are simply breaking as we try to process the loss of 19 more beautiful, innocent children and two of their teachers. Children go to school to learn. Schools should be safe. Children should not live in fear.
In an effort to do more than just express a sense of sadness or frustration, we want this statement to offer you some valuable resources you might need right now. The National Association of School Psychologists provides guidance on how to speak to your children or students about violence at moments like this, when they might be wondering about their own safety or that of their friends or loved ones. Click this link to access Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers.
Some may also find the following resources from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) helpful:
- Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event: A Guide for Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers
- Tips for Survivors: Coping With Grief After a Disaster or Traumatic Event
- Tips for Survivors of a Disaster or Other Traumatic Event: Managing Stress
As always, it will take a community effort to bring about the changes we want and need to see. What we must be ready for now is the potential ripple effect of fear and heartbreak that can spread among students and teachers everywhere and anywhere in the aftermath of this horrific shooting. Our children will need reassurance that they are safe and we will need to redouble our efforts to ensure that indeed they are safe.
The SPAN Management Team