We are devastated by the senseless event that took place at the Robb Elementary School, where 19 innocent children and their teachers were taken from this world in an act of unspeakable violence. This shakes us to our core and makes us question humanity. As parents, guardians and educators, we wonder how can we protect our children and support them during this incredibly difficult time.
Over the coming days, as we process this event, we want you to know that you are not alone in your fear, anger, and sadness. Here’s a probably relatable reaction for many, from a somewhat unexpected place, but special to me as a life-long Warriors fan (scroll down for video). If you haven’t seen it from Seattle Public Schools (SPS), there are many resources available to our teachers and families to support you and your children. These resources can help to navigate difficult conversations with your children who may hear about this event and see images in the news.
- Talking with Children About Tragedy in the News (multiple languages)
- Responding to Tragedy: Resources for Educators and Parents
- Talking to Children About Tragedies and Other News Events
- Here are some hotline and textline numbers for help for teens and tweens and others, courtesy of March for our Lives student group
I can also personally recommend some great materials developed, unfortunately out of need from the American Academy of Pediatrics and National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement offer guidance for helping children in the aftermath of a shooting. The Child Mind Institute has a nondiagnostic symptom checker that can be useful for parents who have concerns that their child is struggling.
As parents and teachers, we have the ultimate antidote to fear, hate and violence. We can raise our children and teach them every day to be loving, brave, helpful and compassionate citizens. Together, as a community, we will come together to support each other in the coming days and weeks to provide a loving and compassionate environment where your children and our teachers feel safe and secure. We can also teach our children to be advocates for those who do not have a voice and engage with the community beyond their own school. We sit in a special place in Washington where we have made significant, hard won, incremental progress on gun violence reduction legal reforms front over many years, but we have yet far to go. Having conversations with your children about how policy and community advocacy play a role in our community and in our nation is equally important at this time.
Our hearts are with the beautiful souls in Uvalde, TX. May their memories live forever in our hearts and may their legacy live on in the way we live our lives with respect, grace, love and compassion.
View Ridge PTA President