How to Talk to Children about Community Violence

After the horrific mass shooting of elementary school kids in Connecticut today, the Oakland Unified School District sent out the following message to parents and guardians on how to talk to children about community violence. It’s written by Dr. David Fassler, a child and adolescent psychiatrist practicing in Burlington, Vermont. He is also a clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Vermont College of Medicine:

“Once again, parents and teachers are faced with the challenge of discussing a tragic incident of community violence with children. Although these may be difficult conversations, they are also important. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to talk with children about such traumatic events. However, here are some suggestions that may be helpful:

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