- Why It Matters
- In Schools
- Collaborating Districts Initiative
- Policy & Advocacy
- 2013 CASEL Guide
We might never know why a tragedy like the one at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School occurs. As we grieve with the families of children lost in the violence, we can only hope that the event might help us better understand how to prevent it from happening again.
Meanwhile, the Sandy Hook community, and those of us learning about the tragedy through news outlets and relatives, struggle to understand and cope with such incomprehensible violence. Perhaps even more difficult is explaining it to our children.
To help families and educators during this difficult time, CASEL has gathered a variety of resources from our allies in the educational and mental-health communities. We encourage our visitors to suggest additional resources for this page.
The Education Commission of the States has published an alert that provides state leaders and others with quick access to resources and information on potential policies directly related to school safety. The list (PDF) cites CASEL as a key organization involved in the mental health, well-being and engagement of students.
The National Association of School Psychologists provides tips for how adults at home and at school can help children who are confused or frightened by a national tragedy and look to adults for information and guidance on how to react.
The American Psychiatric Association recommends creating an open environment where children feel free to ask questions, to help them cope with stressful events and experiences and reduce the risk of lasting emotional difficulties.
The Center for School Mental Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine has assembled a variety of resources related to school crisis response.
The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration explains how traumatic experiences can affect children, provides examples of behavioral signs that a child is having difficult dealing with a traumatic event, and provides tips on how adults can help children who have experienced trauma.
The American Psychological Association provides a list of tips for parents to consider as their children look to them to make them feel safe.
The Crisis Management Institute helps schools mitigate the likelihood of larger crisis that stem from these kinds of situations. CMI has created a two-page guide to talking about the tragedy with youngsters.
After the tragedy at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater this summer, the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress answered common questions to help caregivers address an act of mass violence with children and adolescents.
Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, helps adults support students affected by violence, outlining the Listen, Protect and Connect approach promoted by the U.S. federal government.