Dear Dover UFSD community, friends, and families,
Yesterday afternoon we learned of yet another tragic school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. We are deeply saddened by these events, which leave communities across the globe devastated and hurt on many levels. Whenever innocent lives are targets of terror, our deepest fears as parents, guardians, educators, and citizens come to the fore. This senseless tragedy comes less than two-weeks after the horrific shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, NY.
The Dover UFSD places safety, security, and emergency preparedness as a top priority. We will continually work with local agencies and our law enforcement partners on validating best practices, identifying improvement opportunities, training our staff, and maintaining strong emergency response procedures. As we learn more about what led to this tragic event, we will again carefully evaluate our safety and security measures to ensure the safest possible environment for our school community.
The random nature of a sudden mass shooting can make us feel very vulnerable. As we personally try to cope with this reality, we can and must help each other. Click Here for resources for helping children deal with tragedy and violence as well as this LINK to assist with caring conversations.
Our clinical team, staff, faculty, and administration are available to assist any students who are particularly affected. Please contact your child’s school with any questions and/or concerns. We will continually work together to build a safe environment of care and connection for every individual within our community.
Dr. David Fine, Superintendent
Resources in Response to the Robb Elementary School Shooting
In response to the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde Texas, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network has developed resources to help children, families, educators, and communities navigate what they are seeing and hearing, acknowledge their feelings, and find ways to cope together. These resources include:
- Talking to Children about the Shooting
- Helping Youth After a Community Trauma: Tips for Educators (En Español)
- Talking to Children: When Scary Things Happen (En Español)
- Talking to Teens about Violence (En Español)
- Tips for Talking to Students about Violence
- Coping After Mass Violence: For Adults
- For Teens: Coping After Mass Violence(En Español)
- Helping School-Age Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers (En Español)
- Helping Teens with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers(En Español)
- Helping Young Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers (En Español)
- Guiding Adults in Talking to Children about Death and Attending Services
- After a Crisis: Helping Young Children Heal
- Age-Related Reactions to a Traumatic Event
- Once I Was Very Very Scared – children’s book for young children
- After the Injury—website for families with injured children
- Health Care Toolbox—website for pediatric health providers working with injured children
- Pause-Reset-Nourish (PRN) to Promote Wellbeing (En Español) (for responders)
Psychological First Aid
The NCTSN also has resources for responders on Psychological First Aid (PFA; En Español). PFA is an early intervention to support children, adolescents, adults, and families impacted by these types of events. PFA Mobile and the PFA Wallet Card (En Español) provide a quick reminder of the core actions. The PFA online training course is also available on the NCTSN Learning Center.
Additional PFA resources for schools include:
- Psychological First Aid for Schools (PFA-S) – Field operations guide
- Providing PFA-S: For Health-Related Professionals – handout
- Providing PFA-S: For Principals and Administrators – handout
- Providing PFA-S: For School Support Staff – handout
- Providing PFA-S: For Teachers - handout
From the National Mass Violence and Victimization Resource Center
- Transcend (mobile app to assist with recovery after mass violence)
- Rebuild your Community: Resources for Community Leaders
- Media Guidelines for Homicide Family Survivors
- Timeline of Activities to Promote Mental Health Recovery
- Self-Help: Resources for Survivors
- E-learning Courses: Trainings for Clinicians
- Resources for Victim Assistance Professionals
From the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress at the Uniformed Services University
- Grief Leadership: Leadership in the Wake of Tragedy
- Leadership Communication: Anticipating and Responding to Stressful Events
- Coping with Stress Following a Mass Shooting
A disaster event such as this is unexpected and often brings out strong emotions. People can call or text the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline’s toll-free number (1–800–985–5990) and receive immediate counseling. This free, confidential, and multilingual crisis support service is available to anyone experiencing psychological distress as a result of this event. People who call and text are connected to trained and caring professionals from crisis counseling centers in the network. Helpline staff provide confidential counseling, referrals, and other needed support services.
- Mass Violence/Community Violence—This part of the SAMHSA Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series resource collection focuses on incidents of mass violence, community violence, and terrorism and their effects. Resources discuss common reactions to incidents of mass violence, tips for coping, and ways to support children and youth in coping. https://www.samhsa.gov/resource-search/dbhis?rc%5B0%5D=type_of_disaster%3A20549
- Coping after Mass Violence—Written for parents and families, this National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) tip sheet provides information about common reactions to mass violence and self-care tips for those living in communities where an incident of mass violence has taken place. The tip sheet also includes external resources for individuals seeking further support. https://www.nctsn.org/resources/coping-after-mass-violence
- Improving Community Preparedness to Assist Victims of Mass Violence and Domestic Terrorism: Training and Technical Assistance (ICP TTA) Program—Funded by the Office for Victims of Crime within the U.S. Department of Justice, the ICP TTA program works to equip U.S. communities to respond effectively to incidents of criminal mass violence and domestic terrorism. The program's website features a resources page (https://icptta.com/resources), which offers vetted resources to help emergency managers, victim service professionals, and others make victim services part of emergency operations plans, as well as a trainings page (https://icptta.com/trainings), which includes freely available trainings to help build local capacity. https://icptta.com
- Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth after the Recent Shooting—In this 3-page tip sheet released shortly after a shooting, the NCTSN describes how such an event may affect children and teens as well as parents and other caregivers. The tip sheet lists reactions common among people of all ages, offers coping tips for caregivers, and suggests ways for caregivers to support children and youth in talking about and managing their reactions. https://www.nctsn.org/resources/parent-guidelines-helping-youth-after-recent-shooting This resource is available in Spanish at https://www.nctsn.org/resources/guia-para-los-padres-para-ayudar-los-jovenes-despues-de-un-tiroteo-reciente.
- Psychological Impact of the Recent Shooting—This document from the NCTSN lists reactions people may have to a shooting and related experiences (such as loss of loved ones and disruption of routines). It describes grief reactions, depression, and physical reactions, and it highlights ways to cope effectively with reactions to a shooting. https://www.nctsn.org/resources/psychological-impact-recent-shooting Remembering—National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center (NMVVRC) This web page describes how communities typically respond in grief after an incident of mass violence and offers guidance for community leaders in supporting communities through this process. Information and downloadable resources focus on communities remembering tragic events, incident anniversaries, and memorials. https://www.nmvvrc.org/community-leaders/rebuild-your-community/remembering
- Survivors and Witnesses After Traumatic Events—A product of Voices Center for Resilience, a nonprofit formed after the attacks of September 11, 2001, this tip sheet for the public provides basic information about common effects of exposure to acts of violence, civil unrest, or terrorism. It identifies steps disaster-affected individuals can take in the immediate aftermath of crisis, common reactions to disasters, and tips for coping and asking for help. https://voicescenter.org/tip-sheets/trauma/survivors
- Talking to Children about the Shooting—In this tip sheet, the NCTSN provides suggestions to parents and other caregivers for talking with their children in ways that help them to make sense of and cope with their reactions to a shooting. The tip sheet also identifies reactions common in children and teens to shooting incidents. https://www.nctsn.org/resources/talking-children-about-shooting
- Tip Sheet for Youth Talking to Journalists After Mass Violence—This NCTSN tip sheet describes how talking with journalists may affect youth who have survived an incident of mass violence. It lists the rights that youth and families have (for example, they have the right to ask what the interview questions will be in advance of agreeing to an interview). It also identifies signs that reporters are doing their job well, so that readers know what to expect. https://www.nctsn.org/resources/tip-sheet-youth-talking-journalists-after-mass-violence
- Tips for Parents on Media Coverage—In this tip sheet, the NCTSN explains the effects that media coverage of a violent incident may have on children and teens and suggests ways for parents and other caregivers to help children and teens manage reactions to media coverage and the violent event. The tip sheet also includes tips for families with involvement in a violent incident. https://www.nctsn.org/resources/tips-parents-media-coverage-shooting
- Unexpected Challenges for Communities in the Aftermath of a Mass Violence Incident—This tip sheet from the National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center lists some unexpected issues a community may encounter after experiencing a mass violence incident. The document also provides suggested solutions for managing these challenges and prioritizing a community’s safety and recovery. http://nmvvrc.org/media/301cm3if/tipsheet2.pdf
Resources for Children, Youth, Parents and Other Caregivers, and Schools
- Children and Adolescents—Several sections of the SAMHSA Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series (DBHIS) resource collection focus on the common responses and needs children and adolescents may have during and after disasters. These sections include resources that highlight the unique needs of children and adolescents in and after disasters, as well as how adults who work with children, and parents and other caregivers, can offer support to children and adolescents in coping. Following are SAMHSA DBHIS sections related to children and adolescents:
Resources intended for children: https://www.samhsa.gov/resource-search/dbhis?rc%5B0%5D=audience%3A20195
Resources for adolescents: https://www.samhsa.gov/resource-search/dbhis?rc%5B0%5D=audience%3A20192
Resources about children and disaster: https://www.samhsa.gov/resource-search/dbhis?rc%5B0%5D=populations%3A20575
Resources about adolescents and disaster: https://www.samhsa.gov/resource-search/dbhis?rc%5B0%5D=populations%3A20151
- Children and Disasters—Part of the Disaster Survivors portal (https://www.samhsa.gov/dtac/disaster-survivors) at the SAMHSA Disaster Technical Assistance Center website, this web page describes how children and teenagers may experience disasters differently from adults, offers tips for disaster planning for families, identifies common reactions to disasters in children and teenagers, and provides suggestions for adults for helping children and teenagers cope after disaster. Links to related resources are also provided.