Gray Matters (November 2018)

Helping Children Cope with Tragedy

Once again, we find ourselves faced with inexplicable events and the challenge of having to talk to our children about them.  Sadly, looking back through the communications I have written to our community over my nine years of headship, this is the fifth such communication from me on this theme.  In the case of the recent incidents in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood and Jeffersontown, Kentucky, heinous violence is paired with hatred and bigotry, adding to the complexity.  

In the face of what sometimes feels like an unending stream of tragedies and challenges, we look for guidance. Like me, I am sure you have received a number of resources shared through your social media.  Linked below are several more, vetted from sources that I greatly trust.    

Violence and Tragedy 
How to Talk to Kids about Terrible Things (NPR)
Talking to Children about Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers (National Association of School Psychologists)
Helping Children Cope with Frightening News (Childmind Institute)
Talking to Children about the Shooting (National Child Traumatic Stress Network)

Discrimination and Bigotry
Talking to Kids about Discrimination (American Psychological Association)
Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Resource Guide (Southern Poverty Law Center)
Beyond the Golden Rule: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing and Responding to Prejudice (Teaching Tolerance)

At difficult times like this, I feel doubly blessed for Capitol Hill Day School, and I have the utmost confidence in our faculty and staff.  As educators, we know not to give false assurances to children, but in appropriate ways, we emphasize that teachers and staff do everything we can to create a safe place for learning. We are confident in the School’s safety and security policies, protocols, and procedures that are reviewed regularly, internally and with outside professionals.  

I am grateful to be a part of this community.  I take strength from our commitment to children, to each other, and to teaching and learning.

Signature of Head of School, Jason Gray

Jason Gray
Head of School