Team of Counselors Help Students Heal After Shooting
Our community is focused on helping students and their families cope with the Sparks Middle School shooting. To do that they've assembled a special team of counselors to help. And while Erin Danielsen is usually focused on Wooster High School, Monday night she was part of the team that talked with 40 families from Sparks Middle School. And she said she heard the same concerns over and over again.
"The biggest concern parents had was how to help support their child. 'How do I support them and help them sleep at night? How do I as a parent help them work this and deal with parenting myself?," she said. "And kids wanted to know why this happened."
She said time and patience help. And so does just talking about it.
"Talk...but don't push," she said. "If they don't want to talk, don't make them. Let them come to you but don't be afraid to check in with them and ask them how you can help," she said.
She said that overexposure to the media, just rewatching the same events over and over can make it harder on everyone, but staying up on what's new is a help. And she said that getting back in a routine always helps.
"The fact that they've had this week off will help, but getting back to school on Monday will help too."
The Washoe County School District is already moving that way. Katherine Loudon, the district's Director of Counseling says they are gearing up and getting ready.
"We have staff and counselors here at the District Offices today, we are planning to let staff back in to the school tomorrow to start getting ready for the kids to return Monday. And we plan to have a lot of extra staff from the district and volunteers from the community on hand to help next week."
Free counseling sessions are happening until 7:30pm at Virginia Palmer Elementary School, at Sparks High School and at the Larry Johnson Community Center in Sparks. For more information and help call the school district at (775) 348-0200.