Students in middle school and high school have never known a world without school shootings, as the Columbine shooting happened before many of them were born (April 20, 1999). Metal detectors, locked doors, on site police officers, and lockdowns have become a standard way of life at school for teens. Regardless, when something this tragic happens in our nation, adults are faced with the aftermath of scared, concerned, angry, confused kids. As followers of Jesus, we know that we have hope, even in times of hopelessness. And in a world who is asking for action and policy reform instead of thoughts and prayers, we may wonder, “Where is God in all of this?”
God shows up in emergency responders, in educators who selflessly protect students, in the communities that rally together and support each other. So, as parents, as a community, be encouraged to shine the light of Jesus into these dark situations. Love people well. Be kind and compassionate. Be careful in how you speak and treat others. And teach your children how to do likewise.
We’ve collected resources from psychologists, educators, and parenting experts to help you have this conversation with your kids. Click on the link below to download this resource sheet. Begin the conversation with your youth, and pass it on. May God bless you as you engage in these difficult, but necessary, conversations with your family.
Links to psychologists, educators, and parenting experts to help in your conversations:
- Talking to your children about the recent spate of school shootings, American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/topics/violence/school-shooting.aspx
- Resources for talking and teaching about the school shooting in Florida (Prolux, N., & Shulten, K.), New York Times, February 15, 2018: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/15/learning/lesson-plans/resources-for-talking-and-teaching-about-the-school-shooting-in-florida.html
- How to talk to your kids and teens about school shootings, ABC News, February 15, 2018:
- How to talk to children about shootings: An age-by-age guide (Holohan, M.), February 14, 2018, Today: https://www.today.com/parents/how-talk-children-about-shootings-age-age-guide-t59626
- What mental health experts say to their kids about school shootings (Spector, N.), NBC News – Better, February 14, 2018: https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/how-mental-health-experts-talk-their-kids-about-school-shootings-ncna845586
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