Dear Pleasant Ridge School District Learning Community,
The news of another unthinkable tragedy has sent shock waves across our schools and communities as we learn of yet another mass shooting in America, this time at an elementary school in Texas.
How do we express our deep sorrow and despair knowing that yesterday 19 elementary-school children and two teachers from Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, will not come safely home from school? There is little, if anything, more horrific, senseless, and heartbreaking than this news.
As we move forward, we will listen and learn with all of you and do our best to support our students, staff, schools, and families. Below are some resources that you can look to if your children ask about what occurred.
The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) tips for parents and educators to talk with children about violence suggests adults:
- Reassure children they are safe and review safety procedures
- Create a sense of safety by returning to normal, predictable routines as soon as possible
- Make time to talk and listen to the concerns and feelings of children
- Limit the use of media consumption of these events to lower their stress and to maintain balance and perspective
- Acknowledge that sleep difficulties are common and can lead to fatigue and poor participation
The American Psychological Association (APA) has tips for managing your own distress following a mass shooting including:
- Reaching out for support from other adults (friend or professional)
- Honoring your feelings and taking time for yourself, especially if you’re experiencing personal loss or grief
- Limiting your amount of media coverage of these events
- Find ways to help in your community
Call the National Parent Helpline at 1-855-4A PARENT (1-855-427-2736) to get emotional support from a trained Advocate. They are available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The APA recommends honesty with children – acknowledging that bad things do happen, but reassuring them with the information that many people are working to keep them safe.
Helping Children Cope With Terrorism from NASP offers tips for families and educators. Translations of this handout are available in Amharic, Chinese, French, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese. There is also a companion infographic.
Common Sense Media has suggestions on how to talk to kids about school shootings in a way that’s age-appropriate and helps them feel safe again.
Very Well Family provides open-ended questions to discuss school shootings with your child.
Pleasant Ridge Union School District is committed to ensuring a safe learning environment for all students and staff. We have a safety plan, practice drills with students and staff, and provide social and emotional support through our school counseling and psychologists.
We send our deepest condolences to the victims’ families and the Robb Elementary School community. I urge us all to find comfort in each other, share our sorrow and pain, hold our loved ones close, take a walk outside, and stay strong for our children and youth.
In deep sympathy,