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Message from Superintendent Barrett

Posted: 5/26/2022 Categories: Featured Links, District News, HOMEPAGE Headlines, Lincoln High School News, Blacklick Elementary News, Chapelfield Elementary, Goshen Lane Elementary News, High Point Elementary News, Jefferson Elementary News, Lincoln Elementary News, Royal Manor Elementary News, Middle School South News, Middle School East News, Middle School West News

May 26, 2022

Dear GJPS families and staff,

In response to the increase in school violence and communities across the country, I want to take a moment to highlight some resources that may be helpful to you. What happened in Uvalde, Texas this week is weighing on all of our hearts and minds, and we are all deeply shaken. Right now, there are more questions than answers as we are all at a loss as to how so many precious and innocent lives could have been taken in a vicious, senseless and heartless way.

As much as we try to shield our children from tragedies that happen, they may hear about them nonetheless, and without adult support, it will be difficult for them to cope. A recent article called How to Talk to Children About Difficult News from the American Psychological Association has some good tips for having a conversation with children about difficult things:

  • Think about what you want to say. It’s OK to practice in your head, to a mirror or with another adult. Some advanced planning may make the discussion easier. You won’t have to think about it off the top of your head.
  • Find a quiet moment. Perhaps this is after dinner or while making the next day’s lunch. This is a time and place where your children can be the center of your attention.
  • Find out what they know. For example, there was a shooting at a school or a bomb set off in another country. Ask them “What have you heard about this?” And then listen. Listen. Listen. And listen more.
  • Share your feelings with your child. It is OK to acknowledge your feelings with your children. They see you are human. They also get a chance to see that even though upset, you can pull yourself together and continue on. Parents hear it often: Be a role model. This applies to emotions, too.
  • Tell the truth. Lay out the facts at a level they can understand. You do not need to give graphic details.
  • Say, “I don’t know.” Sometimes the answer to the question is “I don’t know.” “Why did the bad people do this?” “I don’t know” fits.
  • Above all, reassure. At the end of the conversation, reassure your children that you will do everything you know to keep them safe and watch out for them. Reassure them that you will be available to answer any questions or talk about this topic again in the future. Reassure them that they are loved.

These conversations are never easy and sometimes it is necessary to work with a professional counselor, especially when children are distraught or inconsolable for a long period of time.

We know that finding a professional counselor can be challenging. Our school district has a relationship with Concord Counseling. If you have no other options, please contact Mary Kate Crimmel at (614) 468-3030 for information about scheduling an appointment.

We continue to make the safety and security of our students and staff our top priority. It is extremely important for you to alert us if you see something on social media or in our community that is concerning and may put our staff and students at risk.

Our Safe School Helpline is a 24-hour-a-day service designed so callers can anonymously report anything that threatens the safety of our students.

Here are some other resources that may be helpful when speaking with your student:

American Psychological Association

Common Sense Media


Sincerely,

Steve Barrett
Superintendent
Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools

Message from Superintendent Barrett

Posted: 5/26/2022 Categories: Featured Links, District News, HOMEPAGE Headlines, Lincoln High School News, Blacklick Elementary News, Chapelfield Elementary, Goshen Lane Elementary News, High Point Elementary News, Jefferson Elementary News, Lincoln Elementary News, Royal Manor Elementary News, Middle School South News, Middle School East News, Middle School West News

May 26, 2022

Dear GJPS families and staff,

In response to the increase in school violence and communities across the country, I want to take a moment to highlight some resources that may be helpful to you. What happened in Uvalde, Texas this week is weighing on all of our hearts and minds, and we are all deeply shaken. Right now, there are more questions than answers as we are all at a loss as to how so many precious and innocent lives could have been taken in a vicious, senseless and heartless way.

As much as we try to shield our children from tragedies that happen, they may hear about them nonetheless, and without adult support, it will be difficult for them to cope. A recent article called How to Talk to Children About Difficult News from the American Psychological Association has some good tips for having a conversation with children about difficult things:

  • Think about what you want to say. It’s OK to practice in your head, to a mirror or with another adult. Some advanced planning may make the discussion easier. You won’t have to think about it off the top of your head.
  • Find a quiet moment. Perhaps this is after dinner or while making the next day’s lunch. This is a time and place where your children can be the center of your attention.
  • Find out what they know. For example, there was a shooting at a school or a bomb set off in another country. Ask them “What have you heard about this?” And then listen. Listen. Listen. And listen more.
  • Share your feelings with your child. It is OK to acknowledge your feelings with your children. They see you are human. They also get a chance to see that even though upset, you can pull yourself together and continue on. Parents hear it often: Be a role model. This applies to emotions, too.
  • Tell the truth. Lay out the facts at a level they can understand. You do not need to give graphic details.
  • Say, “I don’t know.” Sometimes the answer to the question is “I don’t know.” “Why did the bad people do this?” “I don’t know” fits.
  • Above all, reassure. At the end of the conversation, reassure your children that you will do everything you know to keep them safe and watch out for them. Reassure them that you will be available to answer any questions or talk about this topic again in the future. Reassure them that they are loved.

These conversations are never easy and sometimes it is necessary to work with a professional counselor, especially when children are distraught or inconsolable for a long period of time.

We know that finding a professional counselor can be challenging. Our school district has a relationship with Concord Counseling. If you have no other options, please contact Mary Kate Crimmel at (614) 468-3030 for information about scheduling an appointment.

We continue to make the safety and security of our students and staff our top priority. It is extremely important for you to alert us if you see something on social media or in our community that is concerning and may put our staff and students at risk.

Our Safe School Helpline is a 24-hour-a-day service designed so callers can anonymously report anything that threatens the safety of our students.

Here are some other resources that may be helpful when speaking with your student:

American Psychological Association

Common Sense Media


Sincerely,

Steve Barrett
Superintendent
Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools