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Helping Students After a School Shooting

  • Try and keep routines as normal as possible. Kids gain security from the predictability of routine, including attending school.
  • 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.
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ASCA Resources

Documents and Publications

National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement
Guidelines for Responding to the Death of a Student or School Staff
Talking to Children About School Shootings
Talking to Children About Terrorist Attacks and School and Community Shootings in the News

National Education Association: School Crisis Guide

National Association of School Psychologists: Culturally Competent Crisis Response: Information for Crisis Teams

Guidelines for Talking to Kids About Attacks

Care for the Caregiver: Tips for Families and Educators

Atención para el cuidador: Consejos para familias y educadores

Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers

Conversando con Niños Sobre la Violencia: Sugerencias para Padres y Maestros

National Association of School Boards of Education: Student Safety and Wellness 

Kid PeaceWays to Help Your Child Through Crisis

Perceptions of School Counselors Surviving a School Shooting

School Shootings and Counselor Leadership: Four Lessons from the Field 

Additional Resources

American Psychological Association
Managing Traumatic Stress
Building Your Resilience
Managing Your Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting
Helping Your Child Manage Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting

American Red CrossRecovering Emotionally

Coalition to Support Grieving Students (videos)
Death and School Crisis 
Talking With Children

Department of Education
Tips for Helping Students Recovering From Traumatic Events
Creating Emergency Management Plans
Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center
Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and Communities

National Association of School PsychologistsTalking to Children About Violence

National PTA: Discussing Hate and Violence with Your Children

The Child Mind Institute
How to Help Children Cope With Frightening News
Going Back to School After a Tragedy

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry: Talking to Children about Community Violence

National School Safety Center

National Child Traumatic Stress Network

The National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

The Office for Victims of Crime

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

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