On Friday, the Edmonds School District sent a letter home with each elementary and middle school student following the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Conn. The letter provided suggestions on how parents can respond to the shooting with their children. The letter also appeared on the district’s website, as well as each school’s website, in English and in Spanish. In addition, emails were sent and phone calls made to each district family advising parents of the information contained in the letter.
Here’s the full text of the letter:
We are all saddened by the events that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut, this morning. We wanted to share with you some information about how to talk with children about this type of event.
Based on your child’s age:
– Minimize or eliminate exposure to the media. Repeated viewing of the information can contribute to increased anxiety, fear and other symptoms.
– Minimize your child’s exposure to conversations that are occurring about the event. Seeing and hearing adults overwhelmed or consumed with the information can increase children’s fears.
– Stay calm yourself. Calm adult responses and reactions can go a long way to helping children cope.
– The primary need of children and adolescents is to feel safe and secure. Let your child know it is normal to be afraid and adults worry too. Brainstorm ideas for helping them cope with their fear (talking with you and other trusted adults when they are feeling worried, draw, write, physical exercise, listen to music, etc.). Reassure them their school is a safe place to be.
– Take time to listen carefully to their feelings and worries.
– Stay with everyday routines. All of us find safety in the predictable.
– Watch for significant changes in behavior (i.e. headaches, stomachaches, clinginess, withdrawal, irritability, etc.).
– If you have any concerns, please contact your school’s counselor for additional resources and/or strategies.
If you have access to the District webpage, additional information and resources will be posted regarding school safety. If you would like additional information about your individual school(s) safety procedures, please contact the principal or Patrick Fitzpatrick, Safety Officer for the Edmonds School District.
We are all saddened for the families and community in Connecticut. Be assured school safety continues to be our highest priority.
You can also view the letter in Spanish here.