School staff watch for kids behavior after tragedy
High-profile acts of violence can confuse and frighten children. Many feel in danger or worry, that their friends or loved ones are at risk.
Due to the recent Boston Bombings and other national tragedies in the United States, many children may become isolated or show signs of needing attention.
Those children often look to adults for information to give them guidance on how to react in these situations.
"So when something is going wrong, whether it be a national tragedy or just something in their daily lives they feel that they can come to the adults and speak with them about what's going on.. but really a lot of it is observation done by the counselors and teachers," said Michelle Yoder, counselor at Kirksville Middle School.
In order to establish a sense of normalcy and safety, it's important for parents and school personnel to talk with the children about their fears.
The guidance counselor at Kirksville Middle School tells KTVO their staff establishes a trust bond with each student, one that opens a line of communication so the student will eventually come speak with them.
"Body language really tells us a lot, especially when you know those children," said Yoder. "You see something wrong that they're not feeling OK."
Dr. Michael Mitchell, the principal at Kirksville Middle School says his staff is properly trained to handle situations like this.
"They see these kids everyday and they are trained," said Mitchell. "We guide them to watch for differences, watch for things that are not normal."
Yoder said they listen, connect, and advise.
"We listen to what it is that bothering them," Yoder said. "We want to hear and validate those feelings, if they're feeling scared or distraught over something that happened we want to validate that those are real feelings for them. We then begin to council and talk about coping behavior and coping skills"
Yoder says on the first day of school the school staff build relationships with the students, for the students to establish a bond of trust.