A Few Words In the Wake of Las Vegas & Resources for Parents
Dear Parents, Faculty, and Staff:
Awful. That is the word I have heard most today. Just Awful. Like many of us, I was awoken in the early hours of the morning to alerts on my phone from all major media outlets which shared the horrific events that unfolded in Las Vegas last evening. As I sat, barely awake, and in the dark, staring at my glowing phone and struggling to believe what had just happened only a few short hours ago, I was completely stunned. Unfortunately, this type of occurrence seems like something that we, as a society, have to deal with on a somewhat regular basis. Paris, Orlando, and many other cities join the list where tragedy has struck through the hand of a gunman aiming at innocent people.
How did we get here? As a father, it is unimaginable to feel like any public event that occurs in our country has the potential to end in death by gun violence. It is even crazier to think that some of the most sacred places for our children, schools, are also the environments where many of these cruel events take place. In addition to all of this, we get to listen to our leaders in the aftermath of such events disagree about gun laws, mental health issues, safety and security of our borders, and almost every other issue that polarizes our country….with little compromise or action to prevent the next tragedy. Realistically, we cannot prevent every disaster — but we should try harder.
I am not saying try harder to push our own beliefs and agendas, but for true compromise to occur in order to advance the wellbeing of our country and its citizens. That is democracy. President Obama reminded us in his commencement address at Howard University that, “change requires more than just speaking out — it requires listening, as well. In particular, it requires listening to those with whom you disagree, and being prepared to compromise.” Even though we all believe we are correct, and for politicians that may mean all of the time…we, however, must compromise to find solutions. The alternative is a lack of progress, more senseless deaths, and the breakdown of our American society and freedoms. Even in the aftermath of last night’s events, people are murmuring, “No place is safe anymore.”
How do we deal with this event and make sense of it to our children and students? How do we heal and move forward? During news of such a terrible tragedy, it can be difficult for us as parents and educators to know how to act in the best interest of our children and students. To that end, I am sharing several resources below.
In assembly today, I asked our community to take an extended moment of silence for those affected by the events that occurred in Las Vegas last night. I also reminded them to be kinder today, and hold those they cared about a little tighter, because tomorrow is never guaranteed. As we see or talk with those we care about over the next few days, I know I will do so, and invite you to join me in doing the same with those you love and care for.
I wish you all my very best.
Head of School
- Talking to Children About Tragedies (American Academy of Pediatrics)
- Helping Kids After a Shooting (American School Counselor Association)
- Explaining the News to Our Kids (Common Sense Media)
- Helping Children Cope with Frightening News (Child Mind Institute)
- Helping Children Cope with Terrorism – Tips for Families and Educators (National Association of School Psychologists)