Children are likely to be anxious and fearful if they know about this shooting. They may identify with the school children at the school in Newtown and they will need both physical and emotional support.
New York, NY (PRWEB) December 15, 2012
Bank Street College of Education, a leader in adult and childhood education and development, continues its tradition of offering expert guidance to families and educators in the wake of the horrific tragedy of the school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.
When news broke on Friday, December 14, of the shootings that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Bank Street School for Children psychologist Dr. Anne Santa responded by offering guidance for parents and educators as they speak to children about the tragedy in its aftermath. Bank Street College posted her tips, originally written to parents in the Bank Street community, on its website as a free resource for all.
“Many of your children may hear of this heartbreaking and senseless event over the next few days,” writes Dr. Santa. “As this shooting occurred in a school and to children, the impact of it on you and your children is deep. With this in mind, we want to provide some ideas of ways for parents and educators to support students and families.”
Dr. Santa advises paying close attention to children’s conversations in the coming weeks, and speaking to them one-on-one when they express anxiety or discuss the tragedy with peers. She acknowledges that parents may wish to put children at ease by providing answers and certainty about what happened. But she cautions that often it is better to say, “I don’t know,” rather than to “oversimplify” an answer.
Dr. Santa specializes in emotional and learning issues of preschool and elementary school children. She provides individual therapy for children and families struggling with anxiety, grief, sleep disorders, depression, and adjustment to major life changes. She holds an M.Ed. in Human Development from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Washington State University.
The full text of her statement, “In the Aftermath of Newtown,” is available to everyone via the Bank Street College website.
Her column comes tragically close to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. After that event—which shut down Bank Street College and much of New York City for nearly a week—the College created a resource page for speaking to children about natural disasters. Now, after the Newtown tragedy, that resource has been expanded to aid adults in talking to children about other kinds of upsetting or challenging events.
Bank Street’s Graduate School of Education has also set up a hub page on its website to offer these and other resources to parents and educators. The site — http://www.bankstreet.edu/resources — includes Fair is Not Equal, a blog designed to help teachers “support behavioral growth in the classroom.” The blog, produced by Valentine Burr and Pamela Jones (faculty members in the Graduate School), covers topics ranging from coping with holiday stress to managing anger in classrooms.
These resources bring Bank Street’s mission of supporting progressive, meaningful teaching and learning beyond its campus and to educators wherever they are, and when they need it most.