Charlottesville and Talking to Students about Traumatic Events

Topics: Education Policy, ESSA

Conversations about events like the one in Charlottesville are critical. Here are some resources for talking with your students and school district. As current events continue to remind us, the world can be a frightening place. While we might try to shield our children and our students from some events, we can’t shield them from everything. When exposed to traumatic events, whether personally or through the media, children can display fear and anxiety. And while no conversation can resolve the state of the world, it can reassure children of their support systems and help them process what they are seeing and hearing. The conversations are a critical piece to developing children’s social-emotional skills for the future.

Last weekend’s events in Charlottesville, and the political and social turmoil that followed, have many school districts wondering what to do. Do you address it at all? If so how? If you ignore it, what message is that sending? While you’re not along in your questions – we’re all having them – here are some resources that can help.

Resources for talking about Charlottesville:

Example district responses to Charlottesville:

Educator perspectives on talking about Charlottesville:

You can get more ideas about addressing Charlottesville in the classroom by following  #CharlottesvilleCurriculum.

This is an important conversation and one that isn’t limited to Charlottesville. It’s pertinent to many state, national and global events. The most important part is that we keep talking, ensuring the lines of communication are open between friends, family, peers, children and students.