What steps should a school take to minimize trauma in a crisis?
Schools should consider things like – especially after a crisis – holding off on the tests. Research shows that students’ cognitive reasoning may not be functioning at a hundred percent after an event. So, maybe holding off on that pop quiz. Don’t force a regular day on grieving students. For example, what we commonly see – more common than school shootings – is maybe the loss of a student or the loss of a teacher. Intervening, asking the students “What’s wrong?”, talking to them, and letting them articulate how they’re feeling and listening to them. Perhaps helping them move through the grieving process, such as writing letters, maybe doing some type of memorial that’s appropriate. Just letting the students be themselves, letting them grieve, and understanding that. Also, reminding students that it is okay to cry, it is okay to show emotion, and support them in that.
This video clip is part of the series “Mental Health During A School Crisis“.
Michael Dorn and Sonayia Shepherd (School Safety Analysts) gives expert video advice on: What is a school “crisis intervention team”?; What steps should a school take to minimize trauma in a crisis?; What are some common responses after a school crisis? and more…