In the wake of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas where 19 students and two teachers were killed, a Brooklyn school is now offering resources as anxiety grows, reports The Brooklyn Paper.
At PS 770 New American Academy in East Flatbush, Principal Jessica Saratovsky held a forum to help process recent events, and shared resources for parents to best approach the situation.
There have been 27 school shootings and over 200 mass shootings with injuries or deaths in the U.S. this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, an independent data collection and research group.
“Many of us are still processing the tragic murders in Buffalo and California and now the events of Texas occur,” read an email Principal Saratovsky sent to parents. “With every event, our fears grow, our country seems to become more numb, and yet, at P.S. 770 we will continue to show up every day for our students.”
With the forum aiming to help parents and students come together as a community, the schools tackled issues from mental health to healthy dialogue.
Saratovsky, a mother herself, shared resources for parents to best approach the situation. Her advice was to start with a series of questions to learn how much one’s child wants to know and if they have any misconceptions that might need correction by asking tough questions. And to let children know it is normal to experience anger, guilt or sadness and to cope in different ways.
“These tragic events are not easy to talk to our young children about,” said the principal. “Our teachers are not going to bring up the events in Texas, but will address the subject if students are aware and express thoughts, feelings or questions about it.”
And as the end of the school year approaches, the schools wants parents to be assured that they will be actively participating in the safety and security of their children.
“I know we will all hug our kids a little bit tighter in the morning as we send them off to school,” wrote the principal. “I know that I will be at the door at 8:15 a.m. with a smile, a hi, a hug or a high five for every student that walks through our door, as I do every day. There will be a sense of sadness for those who no longer walk through their school doors. However, I also know with every smile and hello we can help make our students feel loved and safe.”