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Talking with students about violent and hateful acts

With heavy hearts, we continuously face reports of tragedy, including school shootings and alleged hate crimes. Our deepest sympathy and condolences go out to the families, communities, and individuals directly and indirectly impacted by such traumatic events. In alignment with WUSD’s assurances, we strive to create an educational environment that is physically and emotionally safe for students. We are committed to building on students’ strengths, supporting self-reflection and empathy in an effort to promote growth, and working towards a community where each person feels like they belong.

Sometimes, the process of determining how to talk to students about violent and hateful acts is challenging and may feel overwhelming. Children often wait for adults to start hard conversations, but that does not mean they aren’t thinking about it. Young children, especially, rely on adults to put language to their feelings and give them much needed perspective and context. We encourage families to hold developmentally appropriate conversations with students, starting by educating yourself and then asking students how they are feeling and what questions they have. Click here to access a helpful resource. Additionally, if you are in need of support, please contact the CARE Team or Dana Middle School Counselors. If you are interested in identifying resources in the community, please reach out to our partners with Care Solace to help you with your search.