Dealing with school shooting aftermath - KOTA Territory News

Dealing with school shooting aftermath

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Following the elementary school shooting in Connecticut last week, school officials throughout the country had to decide how their own classrooms would discuss the tragedy if children were upset or had questions.  Holy Name Catholic School in Sheridan wanted to hear from parents and know if they did not want their child to hear any discussion.

"Some of the parents, especially of the little kids and understandably so, don't want their little ones to know about this.  The little guys get so scared, that no good will come out of telling them that there are so many bad guys out there and they're going to come and get you," said Mary Legler, the Principal at Holy Name.

Teachers are also focusing on how safe schools normally are when talking with students who know about the tragedy and were upset by the shooting.

"Disasters like there, tragedies like these are horrific, but they are also very rare and school is one of the safest places for children to be in," said Legler.

"We are in a school that safety is first.  We have a security system where no one can come in unless it is through the front door.  The school is safe and they can be here and feel comfortable and safe," said Holy Name Spanish teacher Maria Montano.

School officials also mentioned the importance of returning to a predictable and routine environment to calm students and help them feel safe.

"Our expectation was that Monday would be treated as a normal day.  It would be routine and routine is important," said Sheridan School District Two Elementary Education Director Scott Stults.

Both Holy Name and School District Two sent out letters to parents with tips for talking to their kids about the elementary shooting, like being a good listener and that it is ok for the child to explore his or her emotions.

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