Heading Back To School After The Sandy Hook Tragedy

By: Parrish Alleman Email
By: Parrish Alleman Email
As children head back to school for the first time since the shooting, local psychiatrists say it

Courtesy: ABC News

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After Friday’s shooting in Newtown Connecticut, we told you how Wichita public school leaders said it was important to talk with kids about the tragedy. Now as children head back to school for the first time since the shooting, local psychiatrists say it's natural for some children to be afraid. They say the best thing parents can do is talk to them.

Glen and Tanya Stallard's 14 year old daughter first heard about the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in her high school classroom.

"They broke in over the intercom and gave them updates of what was going on,” Tanya Stallard said.

The Stallard's two ten year olds didn't know what happened, until Tanya picked them up from school.

"I try not to shelter them. I try to be fairly honest with them about what happened because unfortunately this is the world we live in now and as much as you want to shelter them, I think them knowing the truth is sometimes better than trying to glossing over everything for them,” Stallard said.

As students prepare to head back to school for the first time since Friday’s shooting, Dr. Ralph Bharati says parents should take time to talk to their kids; especially ones older than six.

"They will understand the death and loss and the violence impact at the same time they feel scared that this might happen to them. So we need to do our best to assure them that we will protect them,” Dr. Bharati said.

Bharati says some children may have nightmares about what they've heard or may even be scared to go back to school. If that's the case, he says parents should tell someone at the school.

Wichita public school leaders say their District Crisis Team will be prepared to help students on Monday.

The Stallards say the best thing they can do to help their children prepare to go back to class is be honest with them and answer any questions they might have about the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut where seven adults and 20 children were killed.

"Our daughter was. She's a little more sensitive so she took it a little harder but I don't know how does anybody handle it. You’re just horrified that somebody would do that to anybody else's children,” Stallard said.

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