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Conversations with Young Children about Violence

by David P. Barry and Lisa J. Lucas
September/October 2022
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Article Link: http://exchangepress.com/article/conversations-with-young-children-about-violence/5026715/

During my lunch break on Friday, December 14, 2012, I was in my elementary school’s office waiting to make photocopies to send home with my kindergarten students. I started mindlessly scrolling Facebook but stopped short when I read a post about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in my home state of Connecticut. Though I had just completed a course as a Teaching Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education about how to support children experiencing trauma, I felt at a complete loss for how to proceed. In just a few moments, I would need to pick my students up from lunch and continue teaching for the rest of the day as if I had not just learned the unthinkable happened at an elementary school earlier that day. I worried about what I would do if I had to protect them and what I would say if they came to school the next day talking about it.

Back in 1990, an inmate escaped from the local prison near where I was teaching first grade. We had no lockdown procedures in place; the principal announced on the intercom that we were to take cover and I quickly ...

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