Resources to Help Your School Cope With Tragedy

December 2012, Volume 36, Issue 4

In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, NAESP stands ready to help principals restore a sense of security in their buildings. These resources can help you address your school community in this emotionally-charged time, reinforcing safety and establishing a sense of normalcy.

Best Information For Parents: “Helping Children Cope With Tragedy” Report to Parents.

This ready-to-print, one-page article offers advice for families helping children cope with tragedy:

“Do something for others. One way to help children cope in the aftermath of a disaster is to find a way, through your community, to help those affected. Schools, churches, temples, synagogues, and organizations like the Red Cross are great places to go to find out how you and your children can help.”

Best Information for Staff: “Coping With Loss” Principal.

This magazine article offers advice for schools in supporting students and families during difficult times:

“Schools are an excellent site for the delivery of supportive services to grieving children and families. School personnel might be the only professionals in a position to offer timely advice on funeral attendance, or recommendations on how to help children understand death and cope with difficult feelings such as guilt. School staff can help parents find supports within the community.”

Best Information for Principals: “A Death in the Family” Principal.

This article is a reflection on how to deal with grief and loss as a school principal:

“I can’t recall ever feeling more proud of the work I do or the people with whom I do it. The saddest of circumstances brought us to the rarest of opportunities, and this faculty did not disappoint.”

Other Web Resources:


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