New Jersey School Boards Association President Irene LeFebvre and Executive Director Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod issued the following joint statement in response to the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

We mourn with the students, parents and staff of the Robb Elementary School, and the families of the victims, and think of the far-spreading ripples of grief that these tragedies produce.

We can’t help but observe that we are not yet halfway through the year, and we’ve already witnessed 27 shootings on school property when class is in session or during a school sponsored event, according to Education Week.

In the weeks and months ahead, we expect to hear extensive discussion about school safety throughout the nation. NJSBA is working on a program on school safety in the wake of this latest tragedy. The safety and security of the entire school community is our priority – and our program will further the conversation on how we can keep students, staff and visitors safe.

The loss of so many young lives in this latest act of violence is almost incomprehensible. The New Jersey School Boards Association offers its sincere condolences to the Texas school community.

Resources to Help Schools  NJSBA has compiled a list of resources for boards of education and school districts on the topics of school safety and security, mental health and traumatic loss.

NJSBA Guidance
  • An updated report highlighting findings and insights from an NJSBA study, What Makes Schools Safe? The report includes 15 additional recommendations on response and recovery, law enforcement in schools, cybersecurity, after-school security and more.
  • The report of NJSBA’s Task Force on Mental Health Services in the Public Schools, Building a Foundation for Hope provides more than 70 recommendations, along with guidance and best practices.
Books

Once I Was Very Very Scared – children’s book for young children.

Lockdown: Talking to Your Kids about School Violence.

Additional Resources

American School Counselor Association: webinars, guidelines, tips, videos and additional resources.

Center For Resilience + Well-Being in Schools, University of Colorado Boulder

The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

  • After the Injury — a website for families with injured children, which includes ways to help children recover.

Dylan’s Wings of Change, a nonprofit foundation named after a child who died in the Sandy Hook, Connecticut shooting that offers youth-led social-emotional learning programs for children and professional development for adults.

Grief Counseling

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network:

Coping After Mass Violence: for Adults.

Moms Demand Action, Community-led services for survivors of gun violence.

National Association of School Psychologists, Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers.

National Education Association, School Crisis Guide, a step-by-step outline of what to do before, during and after any school or community crisis.

The National Mass Violence and Victimization Resource Center

National Alliance on Mental Illness, one-on-one helpline 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Monday through Friday. (800) 950-NAMI (6264) or helpline@nami.org.

Navigating A Mental Health Crisis, a downloadable guide available in English and Spanish. The guide outlines what can contribute to a crisis, warning signs, strategies to de-escalate, etc.

National School Safety Center, handouts and information concerning schools and terrorism, schools and readiness.

News stories:

Sandy Hook Promise, The Learning Center

  • Start with Hello, grades K-12, free activities and curriculum to teach students to be more socially inclusive and connected to each other to end social isolation.
  • Say Something, grades 4-12, in four out of five school shootings, the attacker told people of their plans ahead of time. This program provides social-emotional learning curriculum, instruction and programming to build essential SEL competencies.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Disaster Distress Helpline – call or text 1-800-985-5990 (for Spanish, press “2”) to be connected to a trained counselor 24/7/365.

Traumatic Loss Coalitions for Youth, funded by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, this organization offers coordinators who work within their counties to develop and/or Lead Response Team or support an existing one. Training is also offered, including suicide awareness training for educators and post-traumatic stress management for school crisis teams.

 The National Child Traumatic Stress Network: A handout that provides tips on how to respond and help students coping with tragedy.

 

 

 

 

 

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