The following resources are once again relevant to recent events.
The National Association of School Psychologists’ guidelines for helping students cope with terrorism and other kinds of mass violence provides support for adults in schools. Here is an excerpt:
“Upper middle school and high school students will have strong and varying opinions about the causes of violence and threats to safety in schools and society. They will share concrete suggestions about how to make school safer and how to prevent tragedies in society. They will be more committed to doing something to help the victims and affected community. For all children, encourage them to verbalize their thoughts and feelings. Be a good listener!”
The National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement at the University of Southern California has a guide for talking with children of all ages about events such as shootings and terrorism.
“Children and youth of different ages understand and react differently according to their developmental age and unique personal experiences. It is important to remember that we cannot assume that children’s worries are the same as our own.”
The Crisis Management Institute’s website contains many free downloads appropriate to a range of events and crises. In particular, Dealing With Tragedy.K12 – although aimed at parents – contains specific discussion techniques that are directly applicable to adults in schools.