EDITORIAL: Talking about tragedy essential
The horror of the mass murder at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., will resonate for some time to come.
The fact the killer targeted 20 little boys and girls among his victims only lends more gravity to the incident.
The shooting spree was the worst ever committed in an elementary school in the United States and was, as President Barack Obama noted as he spoke in Newtown on Sunday, Dec. 16, the fourth such mass shooting at a school during his four years in the White House.
While Americans continue to debate gun control and try to explain why their country alone is plagued with so many repeat incidents, the rest of us are left to determine how to explain such horror to our kids.
On Friday, Dec. 15, the Kamloops-Thompson school district created a memo (adapted from New York City Health) for students to take home.
The memo, which can be read online at kamloopsthisweek.com, offers advice to parents in talking to their children about such tragedies.
In addition to the memo, the school district called the homes of every student with a pre-recorded message from superintendent Terry Sullivan.
The advice is good and it comes from experts in the field.
We would hope, however, that teachers in classrooms throughout the school district are also talking to their students about Newtown, educating their students about what happened, explaining the best they can and reassuring the kids that such events are extremely rare.
Teachers spend an enormous amount of time with students. They are able to see the students as parents often cannot as various situations present themselves.
While it may be advisable, as the memo stated, to limit your child’s exposure to social media and news about the Newtown mass murder, we would hope teachers are adopting an open-ear policy for students who wish to talk about the tragedy and ask questions.
Yes, it is terrifying, but we can all help place everything in perspective.