AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)-“Absolutely devastated you go from sadness to deep deep sadness, to anger, to just questioning everything” said LaNetta Price, parent and school counselor in Texas.
Plenty of heavy emotions for parents and teachers around the country – after a gunman murdered 21 people,19 of them children, at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
Behavioral health specialist Dr. Warren Umansky says mental health awareness is paramount in homes with young children. Parents may wonder how they should bring up the conversation to their children about tragic incidents like this one, especially when they happen in environments kids are familiar with. Like a school.
“I think what all parents can do is to provide a sense of security for their kids and open up channels of communication” said Dr. Umansky.
“Allow them that space for them to share their feelings A lot of students will feel like because they’re young their parents want to shield it from this information or the teachers want to show them” said Price.
Dr. Umansky says when horrific incidents happen even to other kids in other parts of the country it can cause trauma especially for children at a young age. He says parents should look out for signs of distressed emotions.
“if children are having sleep problems all of a sudden if children’s eating habits change, they are all of a sudden the lesson hungry or they are eating more” said Dr. Umansky.
The same sad emotions can occur for teachers as well assistant professor at Augusta University Kim Barker says safety in schools have always been a top priority with things like tornados and fires, but a mass shooting is different
“I think that new teachers going into the field you know need to be well prepared for all the security measures in a school I think school’s doing a great job of that” said Barker.
Barker also says some people may rethink their decision on becoming a teacher because of recent school violence.
“not just new teachers but in-service teachers are leaving the field in record numbers they’re struggling with their mental health we’ve had two years of pandemic and it’s been difficult to be a teacher anyways” said Barker.