To the Henrico team and all the students and families of Henrico County Public Schools,
Like many of you, I’ve been thinking about the tragedy that unfolded Friday in Virginia Beach where an unspeakable act of violence claimed the lives of 12 people and injured four more. As we prepare to see your precious children again on Monday, the close proximity and possible connections may result in this event resonating more strongly within our schools.
Often after such traumatic events occur, some people may find themselves struggling to regain a sense of normalcy. It is not uncommon that the full impact of the event strikes them days or even weeks later. And so, I wanted to share some resources below that you may find helpful in the future. Look for those at the bottom of this message.
On a personal note, this tragedy hits close to home for me. I grew up in Virginia Beach and spent 20 additional years there as a classroom teacher and school administrator. The school superintendent in Virginia Beach is Dr. Aaron Spence, a former school principal here in Henrico. He’s asking everyone in Virginia Beach to wear blue on Monday to support those affected by Friday’s events and to honor the 12 lives lost.
This evening, I stand with Dr. Spence in asking all of the staff, students and families of Henrico County Public Schools to wear blue on Monday to show our love and support for Virginia Beach. I hope you’ll be able to join me in this meaningful gesture of togetherness.
Thank you for your time, attention and support of Henrico County and Virginia Beach City Public Schools.
Resources that might prove helpful:
- National Association of School Psychologists: Talking with Children about Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers (Tambien en español)
- National Education Association: School Shootings and Other Traumatic Events: How To Talk To Students
- American Psychological Association: Helping your children manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting
- Mental Health America: Helping Children Cope With Tragedy Related Anxiety
- American Academy of Pediatrics: Talking to Children About Tragedies & Other News Events
- Henrico County Public Schools: Crisis Preparedness, Parents and School Emergencies