I thought if I spent Wednesday evening reading news accounts and watching live television coverage that I’d find the right words to share this morning — words that hadn’t already been said time and again about our collective condemnation of violence, hate, bigotry, and now, the lawlessness on full display at the Capitol. And that’s when it became clear what I wanted to recognize today: Many of our students are entering their classrooms this morning with new variations of questions they’ve asked before, and others are finding new levels of courage to bring their important questions to school for the first time. Some of our precious students are too young to have followed the events in D.C. yesterday, and of course, others may not want to talk at all. But for others, these questions are unfolding right now in front of our teachers, staff, school-based mental health teams, and at home. I’d like to share how proud and honored I am to be part of a community that is capable of meeting this moment.
In school today, I know that our staff will take their lead from their students. Current events give our students the chance to shape their own opinions. They also allow educators to facilitate dialogue that allows students to engage with the social studies/civics curriculum in real-time. As always, we will take great care to ensure their social-emotional needs are being met. For some students, the unfolding of these events could cause a great deal of anxiety and potentially trigger prior traumas. Please know that our school-based mental health professionals including school counselors, school psychologists and school social workers are available to support any student in need of emotional support.
While our school teams are prepared to support our students, I want to share a variety of resources that may be helpful at home:
- American School Counselor Association: Helping Students in Troubling Times (Note: This includes a list of further resources.)
- NASP: Care for the Caregivers (Crisis)
- Parent Talking Points
And here are some additional resources that have been shared with our teachers and staff:
- National Association of School Psychologists (NASP): Guidance for Ensuring Student Well-Being in the Context of the 2020 Election
- Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities: Post-Election Response Support Resource
- NASP: Care for Caregiver: Administrators and Crisis Team Members
Thank you for reading, and for your support of Henrico County Public Schools.
Amy E. Cashwell, Ed. D.