Senseless. Unthinkable. Horrific. Preventable.
Unfortunately, sharing these words with you today has become all too commonplace. We cannot fathom the pain of those who went to school on Tuesday, May 24th only to never return. To show up with beautiful lessons planned, hopes of learning and collaborating, and dreams of being in middle school this fall - destroyed instantly. Families waiting for children to come home that never were given that chance. A school was attacked; a community was victimized. Mere words will never be enough, never heal the unhealable, and yet, we must. Our hearts are broken; our love for all in Uvalde is strong; our compassion for teachers and students who had to walk into a building today, unwavering.
Since April 20, 1999, how many future doctors, mechanics, lawyers, teachers, artists, musicians, chefs, stylists, plumbers, writers, accountants, and electricians have been taken from their schools, been taken senselessly, unthinkably, horrifically, and preventably?
The simple reality is that this violence IS senseless; it IS unthinkable; it IS horrific; it IS preventable. So, the only question remains, what now? How does a community attempt to heal, and how do we, as a profession engage in conversations around school violence that matter, that are real, and that lead to change? Because one reality is unarguable, change IS needed.
There might not be any short-term answers, and as educators, we can only do what we can do, but to that end, I want to offer support to the profession, the community, and education as a whole. First and foremost, please embrace that it is okay to seek help - be that from a professional or a friend, colleague, or a family member. Merely showing up to work is an act of courage, but it doesn’t need to be done nor processed in isolation. SEL does matter, now more than ever, for both our students and our educators. And as you do return to your buildings – scared, worried, and unsure - I invite you to dive into these resources. Of course, no article nor podcast can make any of this “ok”, but these resources do have power, and so do you…for you will continue to be there, to support your students, to grow your community, and to spread love. For that, we are forever grateful.
P.S. for those looking to support the families of Uvalde that have been impacted, join us in donating to Victims First.
- Riverside Trauma Center’s “Talking to Children about Traumatic Events.” Additional helpful resources can be found HERE
- American Psychological Association Resources for Mass Shootings
- How to Talk to Children about Shootings: An Age-by-Age Guide
- Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth After the Recent Shooting
- When Bad Things are Happening
- Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers (National Association of School Psychologists)
- Showing Up Strong for Yourself and Your Students in the Aftermath of Violence
- Talking with Teens about Traumatic events
- From the
National Child Traumatic Stress Network
- Talking to Children: When Scary Things Happen (En Español)
- Talking to Teens about Violence (En Español)
- Tips for Talking to Students about Violence
- Helping School-Age Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers (En Español)
- Helping Teens with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers(En Español)
- Helping Young Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers (En Español)