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Re: school's responses to attack

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From: Sharon Henneborn (heneborn_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Sep 13 2001 - 12:36:39 PDT


I was just reading about Wendy's disappointment about the way her
administration responded to the tragedy. It reminded me of an
experience I had a few years ago at my school.

One of my 5th grade students who was SE left his table and buried his
head on my shoulder and sobbed. The class was predominately street
wise tough boys. They were silent. Then one at a time they come up
and touched his shoulder and made a supporting response. When he
calmed down he explained that his aunt had died the night before.
More supportive comments from the toughest of the boys.

A new student spoke out with an inappropriate remark and laughed.
The leader of the tough boys immediately responded with,"That was not
an appropriate response to someone who is in grief An appropriate
response would be-----" and he listed off several choices. The other
boys tuned in with other choices. Tough Boy said that "You will learn
about appropriate responses in sessions with the counselor then then
you won't be uncomfortable and inappropriate."

I learned a lot from those boys that day.

So my point is the offending administrators need to have a session or
two with a good school counselor so they are comfortable with
appropriate responses.
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>From: "wendy free" <wendfree@bellsouth.net>
>Subject: school's responses to attack
>Date: Wed, Sep 12, 2001, 4:43 PM

> hi,

> i am interested to hear how other schools and school districts are
 addressing our national tragedy. i teach at a high school in
florida. i am
 of the belief that an event of this magnitude deserves to be dealt
with in a
> concrete, unified, strong, and responsible manner as possible concerning our
 students. in my classes today i followed the lead of artsednetter
michelle
> and gave my students an opportunity to write and draw to begin grappling
 with their thoughts and feelings about the attack. at the end of the
day i
> was overcome by what i had seen and heard. i went to my assistant principal
 and asked if preparations were being made to address the tragedy as a
 school. i was told it was up to individual teachers. i then went to
my
> teacher mailbox and found a flier announing a school pep rally this friday.
 i feel sick at the disservice i feel we are doing to our students.
when i
> got home i called the superintendent's representative and asked if our
 school district was formulating some type of plan to assist students
with
> this crisis. i felt like the rep thought i was nuts.
 it would be great to know that some districts and school leaders out
there
 do have plans to support students as a educational community in some
 thoughtful, organized way. maybe i could share some of these ideas
with my
 school leaders. meanwhile, i will continue, along with some other
teachers,
 to help in my classroom. i know there is no right way to cope with
this,
 and it is very difficult for me to grapple with myself, but i am
> disappointed with what i perceive as a lack of interest and lack of
 responsibility. i am thankful for the ideas of all the artsednetters
and
> for the inspirational words i have heard televised from other leaders. i
 and my students hope with all our hearts for peace for all, for an
end to
 this suffering. our hearts ache with you.
  wendy free

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