Saturday, February 17, 2018

How to talk to students about school violence

The topic of school violence came up in the classroom. I spoke to students about it. I mentioned that life is typically a series of small ups and downs, but sometimes there are big downs and big ups. During those big downs, sometimes people may want to hurt themselves or others, and it's important that if we ever feel like we want to hurt someone or ourselves or if we hear about someone who says they want to hurt themselves or others, that we seek help and tell trusting adults. I noted that most people that hurt others give warnings about that, and that sometimes the first person we talk to doesn't respond which means we have to talk to others and be persistent.

We talked specifically about the kinds of events that cause those big downs, and how with help and time people move beyond those moments in time. Students asked specific questions and we discussed the situation.

Our school prepares students for the potential of a violent event with ALICE training. I hate the training, but know it is important. I tell students that if that happens they need to listen to directions and do what's safest. We talk about how strong we are and how we will do what we can to get away. I say that I am there for them and will help in any way possible.

I hope that I never have to face a situation like this, and in the meantime, I'll do what I can to stand up for what is right and good for children, families, and communities. There is so much good that we can do for children, and right now, in society, there are many who don't care about this--we have to work against this greed, selfishness, and short sightedness. We can do better.