Local School Official – Counselors On Dealing With Connecticut School Tragedy [AUDIO]
Missoula School District One is sending out messages to teachers and parents regarding the tragic school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.
Regional Director Mark Thane says security at schools in Missoula is of the utmost importance, and that safely and evacuation drills are conducted at the schools on a regular basis. In the past few weeks, officials conducted such a drill at Russell Elementary, when students were taken to Big Sky High School to be picked up by their parents.
Thane advises parents to filter the media their children are exposed to this weekend, so they are spared from the horrific images that might be displayed. That interview with Mark Thane is below..
School District One Regional Director Mark Thane
Missoula County Sheriff's Department Chaplain Chuck Lee says it's important for parents to reassure their children that they are safe and protected. Lee says children's minds process information differently than adults, and care must be taken to protect them from images or conversations that might traumatize them.
Chaplain Chuck Lee
Counselor with the Tamarack Grief and Counseling Center Katherine McCleary-Hungerford says it's also very important to keep younger children from being affected by social media, which can sometimes put out premature or incorrect information, which can lead to fear and confusion in a child's mind. McCleary-Hungerford says to spend lots of time listening to children describe their feeling and fears and reassure them of their safety. She says it is also acceptable to say 'I don't know' , when the answer to a question is unknown. She says the most important thing this weekend is to keep your children close and let them know they are safe.
Tamarack Grief and Counseling Center's Katherine McCleary-Hungerford