Renay told us the first words out of the gate: the weekend was not awesome. It wasn’t just exhaustion related to doing hybrid. It was a series of local deaths that have compounded this weekend. And they were students Renay worked with as a result of inclusion.
This means we have a community that needs to deal with the situation at hand. When discussing the events with students, things may need to be moderated.
We have talked about student death before. And every single time, it is one more gut punch of loss of promise of youth. Even with the youth was doing their best in the community. What we did not really talk about was what to do in the post-vention, or the systematic response.
Most districts now have a crisis response team. This includes someone who manages information so the families are not overwhelmed initially. There is also a team response to identify individuals who might be immediately impacted. This also is a management system for providing staff and others information about attending any events the family may open to the general public– outside of Pandemic living.
A few reminders
- If you were especially close to any of the student deaths, ask for a time to connect with the counseling services. The District crisis management team will connect you with professional support during this time.
- Realize that the passing of our youth is never wanted. And during a Pandemic, it is never wanted even more.
- And though it may hurt: if you have been given specific phrasing to read by the district to announce the passing of a fellow student, or even a staff or faculty member, read it verbatim. If you need to step out and cry after, do so. It is a natural response.
- If you did not know the youth or staff well, do not feel bad. Support your staff who may have. They may need to step away for a few minutes. They may need to have a moment. Check on them. Let them know they are still valued. A reminder: you are a professional. Students around you may have feelings. Please direct them to the correct staff member in the office to help the students cope. And never be ashamed to admit you also need help.
If you or someone you love needs support, please do not hesitate to reach out to National Suicide Prevention. Chat and phone are both available. Check it out: suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Do you have any comments about this week’s blog? Do you have a question for us? Would you like to have an opportunity to pilot some materials at your campus? Find ParaEducate online here, here, here, here, and on our website. ParaEducate is a company providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published during the academic school year on Mondays, unless a holiday or announced day off. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.