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Lesson Plans

Mama's trying to help with the violence issue

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Jane Shiflett Manner (jmanner)
Sun, 29 Mar 1998 13:14:18 -0500

>Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 12:48:39 -0500
>To: Jeff S. McLarty <mclarty>
>From: Jane Shiflett Manner <jmanner>
>Subject: Mama's trying to help
>I'm definitely not a "limp biscuit". This is "let love find a way" and
"whatever gets you through the night". Hope it helps with Rachel. PS
Thanks for the computer. Mars is next.
>Talking to kids about violence
>icFlorida Staff
>Two students open fire on their classmates in Arkansas; a man takes two
small children hostage in Orlando; still no leads in the murder of child
beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey. As much as you might like to, you can't shut
your children off from the rest of the world. So how do you talk to them
about news that may lead to nightmares?
>Many parents believe if they don't talk about the violence their children
hear about, the children will forget it. A local psychologist said this
week's news presents a good opportunity to teach children how to deal with
anger as well as fear. Dr. Mimi Hull of Hull and Associates says parents
can discuss with their children how the person involved in the crime could
and should have dealt with their problems.
>Talking about things in the news can open a window into your child's life
outside the home. Hull says "it's a good time to talk to your kids about
their friends. You can ask if they talk to their friends about guns." Hull
says parents can use this conversation to differentiate between tattling
and telling the appropriate person to help protect the safety of others.
>Betsy McAlister Groves, director of the Child Witness to Violence Project
at Boston Medical Center says parents should not wait for young children to
express fear. In an interview with Good Housekeeping Groves suggests
parents take this course of action:
> Encourage children to talk: Ask questions that will draw out their fears.
> Answer simply: Once you find out what your child's fears are, answer
simply. Groves says, "give children the information they ask for, but not
more than they've asked for."
> Appeal to logic: Arm your child with concrete ways to deal with things
that upset them. For example if your child is afraid of being in a car
accident and is too young to understand the law of averages, you may try
showing them where the accident happened on a map and where you live to
help them distance themselves from the accident.
>Every day, TV news exposes our children to murders, kidnappings, and
bombings. How can we calm their fears and help them feel safe?
>Eight-year-old Caitlin Tanner* and her classmates can't stop talking about
JonBenet Ramsey, the little blonde beauty queen whose murder last December
has been the subject of countless TV newscasts. At an age when their tastes
run to baggy blue jeans and simple T-shirts, most of the girls' commentary
revolves around why they don't like JonBenet's fancy clothing, and how
silly it is for little girls to wear makeup. Occasionally, they come
seeking a parent's reassurance: "Mommy, am I as pretty as JonBenet?"
>But every week or two after yet another story airs on the evening news
more disturbing questions arise: "Mommy, you would never let anyone kill
me, right?"
>There's no shortage of news to terrify a child: Heaven's Gate, Bosnia,
Oklahoma City, O.J. Simpson, the latest crime in your own community. We can
turn off the TV and the radio; we can even keep magazines and newspapers
out of the house but there's still no way to ensure that our children are
protected from the knowledge of every ugly crime or frightening event.
"Kids today live in a world where violence is the norm," says Ellen Casper,
Ph.D., a clinical psychologist practicing in Ohio. "There are things to be
afraid of that didn't confront us when we were children. When there are
stories about a man taking a child out of her bedroom in a safe
neighborhood, children have good reason to be afraid."
>Local schools
>stress prevention
>By Jim Babcock
>and Lynn Hulsey
>Miami Valley school officials hope their students are safe from tragedies
like Tuesday's shooting at a Jonesboro, Ark., middle school.
>But some districts, such as the Mad River Local School District in
Riverside, try to be prepared for such an emergency by establishing
procedures which administrators, teachers and students follow in the event
of any threat to student health or safety.
>The district also has school counselors and teachers trained to spot
potentially troubled students and to provide counseling to those who need
help in hopes of preventing such a tragedy.
>"But how in the world do you prevent something like that?" Mary Harper,
Mad River's public information director, asked Tuesday afternoon referring
to the Arkansas shooting. "We don't even know right now if those boys were
students at that school."
>In Jonesboro, police said two youths wearing camouflage clothing shot and
killed four students and a teacher and wounded 10 at a middle school where
students were assembled outside during a fire alarm.
>Harper said the Mad River District tries to work with troubled students to
try to prevent them from acting out with violent behavior.
>"Basically, it's kind of an intervention thing," she said. "It's a matter
of just staying on top for kids. The teachers have tell-tale things they
watch for. "
>In addition to incidents of violence, Mad River's crisis plan can be used
for any emergency including natural disasters or accidents.
>She said in addition to quickly moving students from harm's way, a crisis
man- agement team--comprised of school counselors from each school in the
district--would immediately move in and begin counseling so that upset
students are not left to cope on their own.
>Harper also said the emergency procedure plans are included in all student
handbooks so that students and parents know what is expected of them.
>Jill Moberley, public information officer for Dayton schools said the
district also has a crisis manual that was adopted two years ago. Before
the district developed the plan, they had a less formalized system in
place, Moberley said.
>Now, in the event of an emergency in one of the schools, the building
principal contacts the district's command center which serves as central
crisis headquarters.
>The Dayton school district also has specially trained staff who are
trained to deal with various emergencies. Those staffers received regular
instruction on how to handle a large-scale crisis, she said.

  • Maybe reply: bob carl: "Re: Mama's trying to help with the violence issue"