We are deeply saddened by the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24 and the recent events in Buffalo, N.Y., Santa Ana, Calif., and so many other places across the country. There is no place for such hatred and senseless violence.
We know this news had an effect on you and want you to know that processing this tragedy internally and externally (with others) will be important to the grieving process. Please know that we all have different ways of grieving.
We encourage all educators in Kentucky to create spaces which acknowledge these events and allow others to openly express their feelings. At times like this, proximity is important. Knowing that we have others experiencing the same or similar feelings allows us to feel seen and heard, while also reminding us that we are not alone in our grief. If school is already out for the summer, communicating with your students and families about these recent incidents and ensuring they have contact information for mental health staff over the summer is imperative.
There are many resources available to support you as you create these safe spaces. Here is a short list:
- School Shooting Resources from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network
- Facilitating Conversations About Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging from the Kentucky Department of Education
As you process these events, you may consider having a mental health practitioner on standby or working closely with a community agency to help people that are experiencing heightened emotions and may be at risk of hurting themselves or others. Our Family Resource and Youth Service Center coordinators, school counselors, school psychologists and school social workers can be invaluable resources during this time.