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Talking to Students about Violence

News of another devastating school shooting this week at a high school in St. Louis, Missouri is tragic and overwhelming. Acts of violence, especially those that impact schools, can confuse and frighten students of any age, and may lead to feelings of danger or worry that they themselves, their friends or loved ones are at risk. They will look to adults for guidance at home, at school and in the community.

The PPS Social Work Department, along with district leaders, has compiled the following resources that can be used as guidance for educators supporting students in classrooms as well as for families processing these types of events.

Gun Violence In Schools (Learning for Justice Toolkit) Resources to help navigate conversations about gun violence, school safety, mental health and how to take action after a school shooting.

When Bad Things Happen (Learning for Justice) Included in the resource toolkit related to gun violence, has psychological first aid steps embedded.

15 Tips for Talking with Children about Violence Suggestions for parents and educators provide guidance on how to talk about school violence and help children feel safe in their environment.

Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers (National Association of School Psychologists)

Talking to Children about Terrorist Attacks and School and Community (School Crisis Center) This guide offers advice on how to talk to children about tragic events, such as shootings and terrorist attacks, that they are likely to hear about at school and/or on the news.

Shootings in the News (School Crisis Center)

Tips for Parents on Media Coverage of School Violence (National Child Traumatic Stress Network) Resources are available and downloadable in multiple languages.

The Portland Public Schools works hard to ensure that our buildings remain safe spaces, and we have safety protocols in place to deal with emergencies. We care deeply about the safety and security of our students and staff and will continue to look out for each other. If you have questions about these resources or need support, please reach out to your administrator or school social worker/counselor.