Thursday, January 15, 2015

Grief in School

Today several of our staff will attend the funeral of the parent of a student whose parent died last week. The student has been in school every day so it is very important that staff know how to treat this grieving child and his friends. I wanted to share some resources and comments in case you are faced with a similar situation.  With the help of the room parents we put together a caring basket for this student with a teddy bear, and small electronic toy, a book, cards and some gift cards.  The surviving parent came in yesterday morning to thank me for this gesture. Please read this excellent article from It also mentions the new Coalition to Support Grieving Students website
The article does a good job of describing the life long impact of a profound loss on children.  For example, I got a message from a parent of a fifth grader whose spouse died when the student was in grade 3.  The student got ill yesterday and we have a new clinic aide who did not know the child only had one parent.  The aide said, "You have a fever I am going to call your ____."  At that point the student lost it! Our computer system is up-to-date saying this child has only one parent but this new employee was not sensitive enough to be accurate.  I welcome any comments about how you support grieving students in your school.

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