Bay Area schools deal with Sandy Hook tragedy
As students return to school - there will likely be some talk on campuses about the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary. It's why the United Educators of San Francisco teachers union sent out an email blast to their members. It's a guide to help steer those conversations.
"I think that it's very important that people know that children are helped by honestly talking about what happened, said United Educators of SF President Dennis Kelly.
Kelly says conversations at school should be a continuation of conversations parents have already had with their children over the weekend.
"The parents are going to be talking to the children, the teachers are going to be talking to the children, and children are going to be talking to the children - on the playground they're going to be hearing about this and talking about it," said Kelly.
And for those parents who have not talked with their children - the dean of psychology at Santa Clara University recommends parents sort out their own feelings about what happened before having the conversation.
"Because a child will pick up and model what the parents are experiencing. So, if as a parent I'm experiencing anxiety or I'm showing a lot of fear, the child's going to pick up on that," said Nicholas Ladany, Ph.D., Santa Clara University School of Psychology.
Some school districts have also reached out to police departments in their communities to review safety procedures. But for other districts - like in Oakland - the threat of violence is something they deal with on a regular basis.
< In recent years on average, there have been about 20 school aged children that are killed in Oakland or that suffer violent deaths over the course of the school year, said Oakland Unified spokesman Troy Flint.
Their team of school psychologists, counselors - and members of their police force will be especially aware come Monday morning.
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