BIRMINGHAM (WWJ) – Teachers, principals and administrators at metro Detroit schools are reassuring students and parents following Friday’s shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school.
There will be extra police patrols around as administrators continue to review policies and procedures, making sure staff will be available to help students who may have anxious moments about being in school on Monday.
One Birmingham school district parent told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Ron Dewey school officials gave her what she called “a ton” of information on how to talk to her kids about what happened.
“It was really helpful. As school psychologist sent us, you know, all these different links that explained what to say and what not to say … and keep it age appropriate. My kids are different ages,” she said. “[School administrators] did a great job.”
Teacher’s aide Kathy Reed said she expects kids to bring up the tragedy during the course of the day.
“We have to honest and I don’t think we should embellish. I don’t think we should give details; I think we should answer questions and just let them know that they’re safe and that there’s responsible adults at the helm,” said Reed.
Reed said she believe gun laws need another look, including a bill allowing concealed weapons in Michigan schools and other public locations. She said such a law simply makes no sense.
Speaking live on WWJ, Dr. Sandra Graham-Bermann, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Michigan, said parents and teachers should be open, direct, honest–and brief when discussing tragedies such as the Connecticut shootings–
“Often times parents go on and on, telling more details than may be needed and it may be more upsetting to the child, but I think it’s important to be very straight-forward,” said Graham-Bermann. “For example, teachers and parents could say, ‘A terrible thing happened on Friday. There was a shooting at a school in Connecticut and some people were killed. This is very sad.'”
Graham-Bermann said it’s also important to ask how your children feel about it and whether they have any questions.