It breaks my heart to see the news about the recent tragedy in at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.  As a mom, a citizen, a human with a pulse, this is all wrong.  I wanted to share some of the helpful tips sent my way that help parents talk to kids after a tragedy.  I’ll be honest, I’m a bit lost.  I’d like to say, “You’re safe at school.”  That should be a given, right?  But how can we say that when these senseless events keep happening over and over again.  This is an important conversation to continue at home, and here’s what we CAN say…

  • I’m upset about this.
  • Here’s what YOUR school IS doing to keep you safe.
  • What can we do as a family and community to contribute in a positive way to keeping schools safe?

I avoid politics on this site, because I do want everyone to feel welcome.  But I don’t see anything political about keeping children safe at school or anywhere for that matter.  I don’t see anything political about pre-screening gun owners.  Some are arguing that cars kill too, but do we hand car keys to anyone, or are there checkpoints, written tests, road tests, provisional/restricted periods?

We have to do something.

I’m inspired by the students speaking up after the nightmare they’ve been through and the voices that seem determined to keep this important dialogue going until action happens.  At dinner this weekend, my friend Jeremy R., Dad since 1995 (DS’95) said that the KIDS aren’t going to stop until this gets fixed.  I am inspired by the resolve and activism of the students, and I hope that Jeremy’s intuition becomes reality through these young voices.

Resources to Help Parents Talk to Kids and Ways to Make Change:

  • Call your Senator or Representative’s office to express your views – 202-224-3121
  • Parent Encouragement Program’s blog post from Emory Luce Baldwin, LCMFT and PEP Leader, Co-author of Parenting With Courage and Uncommon Sense, shares tips on how to talk to kids after terrible events.  (Note – Emory wrote this in October, 2017, after the Las Vegas tragedy, but the points are as relevant today as they were then).
  • Montgomery County Public Schools shared resources including How to Talk to Kids About Violence and  school safety information from the National Education Association.
  • Want to speak up for gun control?  Check out these petitions – takes a minute – Move on, “Students Fighting Guns Since Adults Won’t.”

I saw this next video first on Lisa B., Mom since 2001 (MS’01)’s Facebook page (thank you!).  Hats off to Emma Gonzales, a brave young student who spoke passionately about how students will delete this kind of tragedy from the headlines – bold, passionate, action-oriented – check it out:

May her wishes come true…soon.