Monday, December 17, 2012

What should we be telling students?

ASCA, NASP, and many other professional organizations have resources available to counselors to help process crisis.  I am beginning to wonder if we are properly training students for school violence. When faced with an Active Shooter or Violent Intruder of any kind, some schools train using the  A.L.i.C.E. Program (Alert, Lockdown, inform, Counter, Evacuate).  Its web site says it prepares employers, workers, teachers and students who may find themselves facing extreme danger.I know watching the coverage of last Friday's school tragedy in CT more seems to be needed.  In one interview the school nurse indicated she and a secretary remained in a closet for about 4 hours. I hope all school divisions will take a look at their training and security measures to prevent a future disaster.  I also hope the media will stop sensationalizing these school shootings as "the worst so far." At our school today we tried to protect the innocence of the children whose parents had the wisdom to protect them from exposure to this horrible event.  I feel very certain this is the best course for K-grade 3.  It is harder to know what the best thing to do with upper elementary.  We did not discuss it because even talking about an event such as happened last Friday can make children afraid to be at school, the exact opposite of our goal of making school a safe place for all. My heart goes out to those personally touched by last weeks killing spree.  Lets use this tragedy to make our schools safer and our response more helpful.

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