Last night, I put my kids (6- and 9-years old) to bed and gave them a hug and a kiss, and we sang our songs as we do every night. Last night, more than 19 families in Texas went home to empty beds and could not tuck their kids in and go through the normal bedtime routine. And today, as I said goodbye to my husband, a public school high school teacher, and our kids as they boarded the school bus, I prayed for their collective safe return home because I cannot fathom an empty bed tonight. No parent should have to deal with empty beds or be told that their adult child died a hero trying to save defenseless children. And no spouse or partner or child should be told that their loved one was murdered while educating our future generation.
I’m gutted. I grieve for the families and friends of the kids and teachers murdered in Uvalde, Texas.
I am personally feeling a roller coaster of emotions—devastation, despair, anger and helplessness. There have been times in the past when I felt numb to the latest tragedy and could power through work, and I fear for the day when I am numb again. This is not normal. It’s not OK.
We know there will be more to say, more actions to take to fight for the safety of our children, and likely a lot of unhelpful finger-pointing. But today, we want to wrap our arms around you and give you as many resources as we can to help you navigate your way through today, tomorrow, and the days to come. We are thinking of you as you care for and nurture and teach our nation’s greatest treasures, and the difficult days you have ahead.
For our educators, here are some important trauma-informed practices and resources as you navigate yesterday’s events.
For any educator who has had ENOUGH of these senseless school shootings, join our friends at Teachers Unify to End Gun Violence and complete their survey. This movement started after the 2021 high school shooting in Oxford, Mich., and is growing.
7 Action Steps Educators Can Take in Response to the Buffalo Tragedy
For anyone who needs solace after the shooting in Buffalo, N.Y., Abbey Clements, our friend and Sandy Hook Elementary School survivor, gives us sound advice, with many points also relevant to yesterday’s massacre.
If you have found other helpful resources, please share them with our Share My Lesson community in the comments section.
In the meantime, we hope you are able to take some time today and in the days ahead to pause, breathe, and check in with your loved ones as our country mourns for the families and communities impacted by the senseless attack, and prays for better days.
Want more of these strategies to help your kids manage stress and trauma?
Join our upcoming webinar with Turnaround for Kids
After the Shootings: How to Help Our Kids and Ourselves
June 8, 2022
6:30 p.m. EDT
Kelly Carmichael Booz overseesthe American Federation of Teachers (AFT) PreK-12 online resources serving 1.9 million educators on the AFT's ShareMyLesson.com, the AFT's E-Learning professional development platform, and the production and dissemination of PreK-12 publication for the AFT's 1.7 million