Sunday, December 16, 2012

NASP Guidelines on Helping Children Processing School Shooting

The Washington Post has reprinted recommendations by the National Association of School Psychologists on how to help children deal with the violence in Connecticut.

The article makes sense, if it applies to your situation. Sadly, there are all too many children going to schools where their parents cannot honestly share the first point, that schools are safe. If you live in the suburbs or in a small town, this is probably true. But we have too many urban schools where our children are far from being safe. The Connecticut authorities are right to place an officer of the law in each school building to reassure the kids. Those officers are there to keep outsiders out. There are many urban schools with officers in the buildings ready to arrest the kids themselves.

I wonder how it feels to a mother of a child who has no choice but to send her child to an unsafe school, to read this article and recognize the fact that her child is being left behind. I wonder what it is like for their suburban neighbors who are rightfully touched by the loss of children many miles away, to be inured to violence that is not so far away.

Columbine took place when my kids were young. We live ten minutes from Camden, NJ. As a whole, the members of our community overlooked Camden while feeling terrified and shocked over violence 2000 miles away.

I don’t mean to criticize NASP for the guidelines they’ve written. They are good. They make sense. But let’s not forget that we have too many children who are trying to learn under a cloud of fear that they’ll be hurt.

I applaud the president for including in his comments, when discussing the spate of violence that has come across our country, “a street corner in Chicago,” to the other highly publicized situations that have recently occurred.


Dr. Kenneth Goldberg, is the author of The Homework Trap: How to Save the Sanity of Parents, Teachers, and Students, published by Wyndmoor Press.

 I recommend giving copies of the book to the teachers at your child's school. Discount purchases are available through Wyndmoor Press. Single copies can be purchased at Amazon.


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