Tips on discussing School Tragedy with Kids

Help is available to parents in need of guidance on how to discuss the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in which a gunman targeted innocent children, explains Oconee County Schools Superintendent Dr. Mike Lucas.  “The National Association of School Psychologists has a wonderful tool for parents and teachers on helping kids understand and make sense of some of these activities.  I encourage parents to go to our webpage and look for that link.  There is a thing that says letter to parents and it has a link to that site, which gives great information.  For instance, modeling calm and reassuring kids they are going to be safe.” Dr. Lucas stresses that discussions with kids on this subject be age appropriate. “Also one other thing that is critically important is that it is developmentally appropriate, what you talk to your middle and high school students about is very different than how you would talk to a kindergardener.  In addition, you want to limit what they see; you do not want the TV on randomly so the kids can see things.  So, let’s make sure that the kids feel safe and there is a sense of normalcy.”  A link to that resource guide from the National Association of School Psychologists on helping children cope with tragic events is available on the school district’s website at