The tragic news of the mass shooting at Oxford High School will impact everyone differently. We are providing you support to help your student (and your own families). The killing of high school students and injuries of others can create fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, and feelings of not being safe. For students who have experienced gun violence in their own lives, this can be especially difficult.
Attached are resources to review. None are specifically about something like this happening in a community near you, however, there are pieces from each that will be helpful. A great resource is https://www.nctsn.org/. If a child reaches out to you to talk about it, please let them. Processing it is important.
- Thank them for contacting you to talk about it.
- Validate that it is ok for them to be feeling a certain way. Share how you are feeling.
- Suggest they stay off of social media and watching the news.
- Suggest they also connect with others who help them feel calm and safe like family members, a school counselor, or friends.
- If your student is extremely stressed or anxious, talks about also wanting to shoot/harm other students or teachers, or other “Red Flag” topics, please contact us ASAP.
- If your student is actively a danger to themselves or others, first call 911.
Students who have experienced previous violence can feel self-conscious about their emotional responses to the event. Feelings of fear, vulnerability, and concern over being labeled “abnormal” or different from their peers may cause adolescents to withdraw from family and friends. Adolescents often experience feelings of shame and guilt about the traumatic event and may express fantasies about revenge and retribution. A traumatic event for adolescents may foster a radical shift in the way these children think about the world. Some adolescents engage in self-destructive or accident-prone behaviors.
Kris Marshall, President
M: (586) 294-8449