I am beside myself with grief for the parents and family members who lost their children in such a senseless manner and for no apparent reason!!!
I was at lunch when I heard the news and felt sick. I seriously can NOT get my brain around first of all hearing the news and wondering if my child was one of the victims.
Those poor little children were probably sooo excited about Christmas and the Holidays. Soo excited to celebrate with family & friends and open gifts, sing songs & eat special food. The parents now having to figure out what to do next.
I'm absolutely devestated. When I picked up my darling boy from school, I felt such a sense of total relief to know that he is safe. When we got home, I gave him a very big and long hug.
The tears have lasted off and on since hearing the news.
I feel extremely blessed that our school has very good security. Video cameras, locked doors throughout the school day, etc..
Constant prayers to ALL involved. I get chills with each photo and news report.
Our principal sent out the following info from the department of mental health. "Talking to Kids about School Safety".
Talking to Kids about School Safety
“Parents can help children gain a sense of personal control by talking openly about
school violence and personal safety.”
—Michael Faenza, President and CEO, National Mental Health Association
Recent acts of school violence and the resulting intense media coverage bring school safety issues to the forefront for all of us. However, children, in particular, may experience anxiety, fear, and a sense of personal risk. Knowing how to talk with your child about school safety issues could be critical in recognizing and preventing acts of violence, and will play an important role in easing fear and anxieties about their personal safety.
To guide parents through discussions about school violence, the National Mental Health Association offers the following suggestions:
• Encourage children to talk about their concerns and to express their feelings. Some children may be hesitant to initiate such conversation, so you may want to prompt them by asking if they feel safe at school. When talking with younger children remember to talk on their level. For
example, they may not understand the term “violence” but can talk to you about being afraid or a classmate who is mean to them.
• Talk honestly about your own feelings regarding school violence. It is important for children to
recognize they are not dealing with their fears alone.
• Validate the child’s feelings. Do not minimize a child’s concerns. Let him/her know that serious school violence is not common, which is why these incidents attract so much media attention.
Stress that schools are safe places. In fact, recent studies have shown that schools are more
secure now than ever before.
• Empower children to take action regarding school safety. Encourage them to report specific
incidents (such as bullying, threats or talk of suicide) and to develop problem solving and conflict resolution skills. Encourage older children to actively participate in student-run anti- violence programs.
• Discuss the safety procedures that are in place at your child’s school. Explain why visitors sign in at the principal’s office or certain doors remain locked during the school day. Help your child understand that such precautions are in place to ensure his or her safety and stress the
importance of adhering to school rules and policies.
• Create safety plans with your child. Help identify which adults (a friendly secretary, trusted teacher or approachable administrator) your child can talk to if they feel threatened at school. Also ensure that your child knows how to reach you (or another family member or friend) in case of crisis during the school day. Remind your child that they can talk to you anytime they
• Recognize behavior that may indicate your child is concerned about returning to school. Younger
children may react to school violence by not wanting to attend school or participate in school- based activities. Teens and adolescents may minimize their concerns outwardly, but may
become argumentative, withdrawn, or allow their school performance to decline
• Keep the dialogue going and make school safety a common topic in family discussions rather than just a response to an immediate crisis. Open dialogue will encourage children to share their concerns.
• Seek help when necessary. If you are worried about a child’s reaction or have ongoing concerns about his/her behavior or emotions, contact a mental health professional at school or at your community mental health center.
The following behaviors are signs that a child may need help:
• Lack of interest or poor performance in school
• Absence of age-appropriate anger control skills
• Seeing self as always the victim
• Persistent disregard for or refusal to follow rules
• Cruelty to pets or other animals
• Artwork or writing that is bleak or violent or that depicts isolation or anger
• Talking constantly about weapons or violence
• Obsession with violent games and/or TV shows
• Lack of enthusiasm, energy or motivation
• Carrying a weapon to school
• Overreacting to criticism
• Restlessness and agitation
• Misplaced or unwarranted jealousy
• Involvement with or interest in gangs
• Withdrawal from friends and activities
The more signs you see the greater the chance the child needs help. For More Information:
For a free and confidential mental health screening, go on-line to Home.