EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSFIRST DAY BACK
from Eyewitness News Online
Difficult Day At School; Parents, Counselors Try To Comfort Students
Reported by: Kallie Cart
Web Producer: Kallie Cart
Reported: Dec. 17, 2012 6:51 PM EST
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Monday was a difficult day across the nation as students headed back to school for the first time since the deadly elementary school shooting in Connecticut on Friday.
"When I pulled up in the parking lot that's when it hit me and I got really nervous," parent Shanda Harris says.
She is like thousands of other parents who had concerns Monday morning. Harris has four children, her oldest, in the eighth grade and her youngest just 7-years-old and in the second grade. She says she was careful what to tell her youngest son.
"I told him that bad things happen and sometimes they happen to the wrong people but I told him that his school is safe," Harris says.
And experts say you should reassure your kids. The younger they are, fewer details and information should be shared. You should also remind them that the situation in Newtown is rare and tell them that adults work very hard to keep kids safe.
"I would encourage parents to probe a little bit and when the young person brings up the shootings, ask them what are they thinking, how they feel and how did they find out," Bill Mullett, the director of counseling for Kanawha County Schools says.
Mullett says staff members were briefed before classes got underway on Monday about how to handle the questions and concerns from students. Mullett says adults should recognize the emotions that children may express and they should model that grief. He said the ages of the students will guide the conversation, adding that in some of the younger grades the teachers may not discuss the shooting. He says counselors were on hand at all of the schools to meet with students one on one. The teachers also met after school to discuss how the day went.
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