Supporting Students During Tragic Events

Supporting Students During Tragic Events
Posted on 01/07/2021

The January 6, 2021 assault on the United States Capitol which temporarily shut down proceedings to support a peaceful transfer of democratic power was upsetting, and support is available to those in need.

We cannot downplay the impact these kinds of events have on students, families and staff. Our reactions to unexpected violence and tragic incidents can shape how children and youth experience these events, and can influence their perceptions of safety.

The best way to help those affected is to use your careful judgment and empathy.

The following suggestions may help you understand what some students and staff may be experiencing, and provide you some supportive ways to respond.

  • Listen and create an environment that acknowledges all feelings.
  • Do not bring media coverage into the classroom/home unless there is a specific educational reason to do so. Students should be given the choice not to participate.
  • Identify students who will be most affected by the tragedy. For example, students who have recently lost a loved one, are depressed and anxious, traumatized students and those who have been victims of violence. Provide support that is age appropriate and based on the level of need.
  • For older students, provide a forum for discussion with adults skilled at fostering open and productive messages that build reassurance and therapeutic insight, such as Educational Services Support Staff, and/or school guidance counsellors.

We know that a disconcerting event like this affects all of us in different ways. If students need to speak to someone, please contact our Educational Services Department through your school. We can also connect students and families with a variety of services and resources in our community that can provide additional support.

If staff need to speak to someone, please contact our Employee Assistance Program counsellors are always available in these circumstances through the Family Services and Employee Assistance at 613.549.5561

In Limestone, we commit to educating our students in age-appropriate ways within a culture of caring with critical thinking, media literacy and empathy as our guide. Our goal is to create and support inclusive environments where everyone is welcomed, respected and valued – and safe.

Please contact the school directly if you have any questions, or require further assistance.