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Resources


Newtown Tragedy Resources:

It should go without saying that our love and thoughts are with the families of Newtown, CT today.

RESOURCES

* NEA President Dennis Van Roekel's response to the incident.
* CEA President Sheila Cohen's response to the incident.
* HIN has produced a very useful Crisis Guide which gives guidance on how to respond before, during and after a crisis.  This may be useful answering the questions like, “How can we be better prepared to avoid or deal with a similar incident?  There are some particularly helpful areas of the guide: How Parents and Other Caring Adults Can Help http://bit.ly/W6qBvM, How Teachers can Help http://bit.ly/12q2qIB, Being responsive during a crisis http://bit.ly/U0EVnb 
* NEA Today published the following article Lessons on Loss: How a school community heals after a student dies, which provides tips and ideas about how talk about and deal with student death and loss.

SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS

1. Parents want to know- are their schools safe?  How do they ask those questions in a constructive way?
* Parents can feel better about the safety and security of their schools by reviewing their school's safety procedures. These can usually be found on the school's website or parent handbook.
* This should include procedures and safeguards at school and at home. Help children identify at least one adult at school and in the community to whom they go if they feel threatened or at risk.

2. How do parents talk to their kids about this?
* Actually it's just the opposite.  Parents need make time to talk to their kids and then LISTEN. Let their questions be your guide as to how much information to provide. Be patient. 
* The most important thing is to reassure children that they are safe, and that schools are very safe.   Remind them that school staff work with parents and public safety providers (local police and fire departments, emergency responders, hospitals, etc.) to keep you safe.
* The National Association of School Psychologists tells us to make sure to validate their feelings. Explain that all feelings are okay when a tragedy occurs. Let children talk about their feelings, help put them into perspective, and assist them in expressing these feelings appropriately.

THEN BRIDGE TO THE FOLLOWING:
* It's important during these times, especially when trying to help kids feel safe, to limit television viewing of these events and news coverage.  Adults also need to be mindful of the content of conversations that they have with each other in front of children, even teenagers, and limit their exposure to vengeful, hateful, and angry comments that might be misunderstood.
* It will also help to maintain a normal routine. Keeping to a regular schedule can be reassuring and promote physical health. Ensure that children get plenty of sleep, regular meals, and exercise. Encourage them to keep up with their schoolwork and extracurricular activities but don’t push them if they seem overwhelmed.

3.  What are some warning signs that kids are really struggling with this? 
* Some children may not express their concerns verbally. Changes in behavior, appetite, and sleep patterns can indicate a child's level of anxiety or discomfort. 
* In most children, these symptoms will ease with reassurance and time. However, some children may be at risk for more intense reactions. 
* Children who have had a past traumatic experience or personal loss, suffer from depression or other mental illness, or with special needs may be at greater risk for severe reactions than others. 
* Seek the help of mental health professional if you are at all concerned.

4. HIN's School Crisis Guide- How can it help?
* This step-by-step resource created by educators for educators can make it easier for NEA leaders and school district administrators and principals to keep schools safe — so teachers can teach and children can learn. It provides guidance on preparing for emergencies, how to respond as a crisis unfolds, and direction for helping students and staff recover. 

TIPS FOR TALKING TO KIDS - from the National Association of School Psychologists http://www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/talkingviolence.pdf

High profile acts of violence, particularly in schools, can confuse and frighten children who may feel in danger or worry that their friends or loved-ones are at risk. They will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and school personnel can help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security and talking with them about their fears.

1. Reassure children that they are safe. Emphasize that schools are very safe. Validate their feelings. Explain that all feelings are okay when a tragedy occurs. Let children talk about their feelings, help put them into perspective, and assist them in expressing these feelings appropriately.

2. Make time to talk. Let their questions be your guide as to how much information to provide. Be patient. Children and youth do not always talk about their feelings readily. Watch for clues that they may want to talk, such as hovering around while you do the dishes or yard work. Some children prefer writing, playing music, or doing an art project as an outlet. Young children may need concrete activities (such as drawing, looking at picture books, or imaginative play) to help them identify and express their feelings.

3. Keep your explanations developmentally appropriate
* Early elementary school children need brief, simple information that should be balanced with reassurances that their school and homes are safe and that adults are there to protect them. Give simple examples of school safety like reminding children about exterior doors being locked, child monitoring efforts on the playground, and emergency drills practiced during the school day. 
* Upper elementary and early middle school children will be more vocal in asking questions about whether they truly are safe and what is being done at their school. They may need assistance separating reality from fantasy. Discuss efforts of school and community leaders to provide safe schools. 
* Upper middle school and high school students will have strong and varying opinions about the causes of violence in schools and society. They will share concrete suggestions about how to make school safer and how to prevent tragedies in society. Emphasize the role that students have in maintaining safe schools by following school safety guidelines (e.g. not providing building access to strangers, reporting strangers on campus, reporting threats to the school safety made by students or community members, etc.), communicating any personal safety concerns to school administrators, and accessing support for emotional needs.

4. Review safety procedures. This should include procedures and safeguards at school and at home. Help children identify at least one adult at school and in the community to whom they go if they feel threatened or at risk.

5. Observe children’s emotional state. Some children may not express their concerns verbally. Changes in behavior, appetite, and sleep patterns can indicate a child's level of anxiety or discomfort. In most children, these symptoms will ease with reassurance and time. However, some children may be at risk for more intense reactions. Children who have had a past traumatic experience or personal loss, suffer from depression or other mental illness, or with special needs may be at greater risk for severe reactions than others. Seek the help of mental health professional if you are at all concerned.

6. Limit television viewing of these events. Limit television viewing and be aware if the television is on in common areas. Developmentally inappropriate information can cause anxiety or confusion, particularly in young children. Adults also need to be mindful of the content of conversations that they have with each other in front of children, even teenagers, and limit their exposure to vengeful, hateful, and angry comments that might be misunderstood.

7. Maintain a normal routine. Keeping to a regular schedule can be reassuring and promote physical health. Ensure that children get plenty of sleep, regular meals, and exercise. Encourage them to keep up with their schoolwork and extracurricular activities but don’t push them if they seem overwhelmed.


COLLECTIVE BARGAINING FACTSHEETS

To help NEA and its affiliates promote and defend collective bargaining, NEA has developed four factsheets for use with such audiences as legislators, school board members, parents, and the general public. They may also be helpful in educating members and organizing non-members.

Setting the Record Straight (PDF, 4 pgs, 725kb) This factsheet discusses several hot-button issues, including public employee pay and benefits, tenure, seniority, and dues deduction and provides no-nonsense facts in response.

Professional Development Benefits Students (PDF, 2 pgs, 463kb) This factsheet focuses on the importance of professional development in the complex, ever-changing teaching profession. The factsheet summarizes key aspects of quality professional development and emphasizes that collective bargaining between teachers and their employers can create a culture of professional learning.

What It Is and How It Works (PDF, 3 pgs, 675kb) This factsheet includes a step-by-step outline of the bargaining process to demystify bargaining for those who aren’t familiar with it. The factsheet emphasizes that collective bargaining is good public policy and gives workers a voice in their workplace.

Bargaining Benefits Everyone in Education (PDF, 2 pgs, 717kb) This factsheet explores how bargaining can improve teaching and learning conditions and stresses that through bargaining, “everyone connected to the school—students, teachers, education support professionals, administrators, and taxpayers—benefits.”


Teachers in Transition - Website from the Office of Workforce Opportunity designed especially for teachers and paraprofessionals who have lost their jobs.

Handbook for Laid-Off School Employees - A publication of NEA-New Hampshire

NEA - National Education Association


NEAMB - NEA Member Benefits


NFIE - The NEA Foundation


NH DOE - New Hampshire Department of Education


NHFTL - New Hampshire Foundation for Teaching and Learning


SchoolCare - Health Benefit Plans of the New Hampshire School Health Care Coalition


NHRS - New Hampshire Retirement System


Northeast Delta Dental

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