As educators we are committed to keeping schools safe and supporting children and their families. That is why the National Education Association (NEA) and the National Education Association Health Information Network (NEA HIN) have developed an easy-to-use crisis guide with essential, to-the-point advice for schools and districts. (See link below)
Knowing what to do can be the difference between stability and upheaval. This step-by-step resource created by educators for educators can make it easier for NEA leaders and school district administrators and principals to keep schools safe — so teachers can teach and children can learn.
Parents want to know- are their schools safe? How do they ask those questions in a constructive way?
- Parents can feel better about the safety and security of their schools by reviewing their school’s safety procedures. These can usually be found on the school’s website or parent handbook.
- This should include procedures and safeguards at school and at home. Help children identify at least one adult at school and in the community to whom they go if they feel threatened or at risk.
How do parents talk to their kids about this?
- Actually it’s just the opposite. Parents need make time to talk to their kids and then LISTEN. Let their questions be your guide as to how much information to provide. Be patient.
- The most important thing is to reassure children that they are safe, and that schools are very safe. Remind them that school staff work with parents and public safety providers (local police and fire departments, emergency responders, hospitals, etc.) to keep you safe.
- The National Association of School Psychologists tells us to make sure to validate their feelings. Explain that all feelings are okay when a tragedy occurs. Let children talk about their feelings, help put them into perspective, and assist them in expressing these feelings appropriately.
NEA Health Information Network Crisis Guide: http://crisisguide.neahin.org/crisisguide/
Tips for Talking to Children from the National Association of School Psychologists: http://www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/talkingviolence.pdf