Connection Type: Special Interest Group
Connection Name: School Crisis Response
Coordinator: George Wilson and Terri Stice

Overview

The GRREC Crisis Response Team was orgnaized in Novemeber 2000. The Crisis Team services are focused with the intent in the event of a school crisis within the region involving death, natural disaster, on-site emergencies or other crisis situations and in the case where a School District requests the services of the Green River Regional Crisis Team, qualified team members will respond to the crisis to offer support to school personnel; assistance with the supervision and counseling of children; advice to the school and district as requested based on appropriate training and experience; and overall support in dealing with the aftermath of the incident.

Trainings

Coming Soon!

 

Professional Support

Resources

Guidelines for Responding to the death of a Student or School Staff

This booklet is designed to help school administrators, teachers and crisis team members respond to the needs of students and staff after a loss such as the death of a student or staff member or when deaths occur that affect many people in the community.

Guidelines for Responding to death by Suicide

These guidelines are designed to help school administrators, teachers, and crisis team members respond to the needs of students and staff after a suicide has impacted the school environment as well as when an individual student’s life may be impacted by a suicide within the family

 

Sample Letters

To assist in times of need, the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement at Cincinnati Children’s has created templates of letters so notification statements can be quickly and easily prepared during times of loss.

You can download these template letters in Microsoft Word format so they can be edited to suit your needs. They are also posted in portable document format (.pdf)

Suicide Related Letters:

Other Circumstance Letters 

 

Talking With Children About A Shooting

David Schonfeld, MD, Director, National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center provides the following tips to help adults talk with children about a shooting.

 

  • Talk about the event with your child. Silence isn’t comforting in crisis situations and suggests that what has occurred is too horrible to even speak of. After a major crisis, even very young children have likely already heard what has happened – but they may not understand what it means.
  • Start by asking your child what he or she has already heard about the events and what questions or concerns they have. Listen for misinformation, misconceptions and any underlying fears or concerns. If the child expresses worries, sadness or fears, tell them what adults are doing to keep them safe but don’t provide false reassurance or dismiss their concerns. Help them identify strategies to cope with difficult feelings.
  • Minimize your child’s exposure to media (television, radio, print, internet, social media) and if they do watch, consider recording, screening and watching with them. Remember children often overhear or see what you are watching on TV or listening to on the radio and may be exposed directly as the news evolves through the internet or social media. While children may seek and benefit from basic information about what happened so that they can understand what is happening in their world, they (and adults) don't benefit from graphic details or exposure to disturbing images or sounds. In the aftermath of a crisis is a good time to disconnect from all media and sit down together and talk as a family.
  • Encourage your child to ask questions now and in the future, and answer the questions directly. Like adults, children are better able to cope with a crisis if they feel they understand it. Question-and-answer exchanges provide you with the opportunity to offer support as your child begins to understand the crisis and the response to it.
  • Share your feelings about the shooting with your child and the strategies you have used to cope with your concerns, sadness, or other difficult feelings. If you feel overwhelmed and/or hopeless, look for some support from other adults before reaching out to your child.
  • Reassure the child that feeling sad, worried or angry is okay. Let your child know that it is all right to be upset about something bad that happened. Use the conversation to take the opportunity to talk about other troubling feelings your child may have.
  • Don’t feel obligated to give a reason for what happened. Although adults often feel the need to provide a reason for why someone committed such a crime, many times they
    don’t know. It is okay to tell your child that you don’t know why at this time such a crime was committed.
  • If you have concerns about your child’s behavior, contact his or her pediatrician, other primary care provider, or a qualified mental health care specialist.


Recommended Readings
Cullen, D. (March 2010). Columbine. 237 Park Avenue New York, NY 10017: Twelve Hatchette Book Group 

Schonfeld, D. J., Lichtenstein, R., Pruett, M. K., & Speese-Linehan, D. (2002). How to Prepare for 
     and Respond to a Crisis. 1703 N. Beauregard St. Alexandria, VA 22311-1714: Association for 
     Supervision & Curriculum Development. 

Schonfeld, D. J., & Quackenbush, M. (2010). The Grieving Student. Post Office Box #10624 Baltimore, 
     Maryland 21285-0624: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.