Fanwood Discusses Paris and Beirut Tragedies

November 25, 2015
The tragic eventsParis and Beirut Banner in Paris and Beirut and the aftermath of the tragedy have been leaving our students with ongoing unanswered questions. Teachers, teaching assistants, and professionals are bracing themselves for challenging questions and the unsettling, painful pictures, which are brought to their attention by our students. Additionally, some of our students are exposed to the high level of security in the city and have seen painful pictures on social media. Students are reacting to situations like this in various ways. They may feel sadness, grief, helplessness, anxiety and anger; their feelings are okay.

In response to the tragedy, the MS and HS department has taken steps in order to support our students. On November 18th, during the homeroom period, teachers, teaching assistants and students watched the news broadcast about the factual events in Paris and Beirut in their classrooms, which was produced by one of the TV Broadcasting classes. Each class also led a moment of silence exactly at 8:35 am. In addition, the Student Support Team is coordinating and will moderate the 30-minute Paris Tragedy Forum with groups of Middle School and High School students on Wednesday, November 25th.

Last but not least, Fanwood professionals and I assure that the safety of our students is paramount and that talking about it with students is critical to moving forward with an understanding of the terrorism and the international collaboration of world peace. Listed below are tips retrieved from the National Association of School Psychologists that help support your child and when talking with your child:

  1. Model calm and control.
  2. Reassure children they are safe.
  3. Remind them trustworthy people are in charge.
  4. Let children know it is okay to feel upset.
  5. Tell children the truth.
  6. Stick to the facts.
  7. Be careful not to stereotype people or countries that might be associated with the violence.
  8. Keep your explanations developmentally appropriate.
  9. Monitor or restrict exposure to scenes of the event as well as the aftermath.
  10. Observe children’s emotional state. Each student in our school has a case manager and can provide the student with counseling if needed.

Keeping lines of communication open between home and school is very important as well as working together to maintain the positive learning environment. If you have any questions, please contact me by email or videophone.

Respectfully yours,
New York School for the Deaf