Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tales from the Trenches: Discussing Chardon with K-.

Many of you know that we live in Northeast Ohio.  Chardon is a jog down the road, but it certainly isn't states away.

Hubs told K- this morning that it's just up the road from where he grew up.

Afraid to think that K- would go to school, hear something and not know what the deal was, Hubs and I discussed the Chardon shootings and deaths with her.  I discussed with her how I've been at her school during lock down (real, not drills) on two separate occasions (one a child out of control and one special needs child thought to have gone missing) and I told her how everything is immediately buttoned up.  She feels good about lock downs.  She knows the drill and even giggled that they have to hide under the tables in the art room.  I'm glad that she feels safe.  I'm glad that they've built lock downs into their life so much that it is second nature, the kids don't panic and know exactly what to do. 


I admit that until lunch yesterday, I had no idea what had gone on.  I plopped K- on the school bus yesterday morning, went to two different groceries, got ready for work and left.  The radio station, a locally funded station, made no mention of the shooting whatsoever.  They may have considered that the media outlets were so incredibly saturated that at that point, people may need something to take a break.  Apparently, the feeding frenzy for information became so much that my friend said that they even had a breaking news bit on the fact that they were setting up a plastic table for an expected news conference. 

How sad it was this morning to hear that a second student has died. 

We explained the shootings.  We explained the deaths.  We explained that the child may have been made fun of.  We explained that even though Daddy and I were made fun of all through school, it didn't make us pick up a gun and shoot anyone. 

"But why did he take a gun to school?" 

"I don't know why.  I can tell you that Mr. B-, Mrs. B- and all the teachers and staff at school work very hard to make certain that you are safe.  You should probably thank them today for all of their hard work." 

I'm sure that there will be more questions.  We'll be there to answer them.  Until then and beyond, our condolences to the families who have lost and our prayers for the children hanging on and all those affected. 

How would you deal with the school shooting story with your child/ren?


ChupieandJ'smama (Janeen) said...

The boys saw a news piece at an after school activity (the TV was just on and the scroll said "1 student dead" so of course they had questions). We explained the basics: someone brought a gun to school and shot 5 kids and one died (they don't know about the second death yet). We explained that we don't know why someone would do this. That violence is never an answer to problems. That nothing those 5 kids could have done would have been bad enough to kill them. We told them that if they ever hear someone make a threat to hurt someone else that they need to tell us or another adult. We left it there and they haven't asked more questions yet. I'm sure they will. We're trying to answer the questions in an age appropriate manner. And we are leaving the TV off for now.
This is such a terrible tragedy. My prayers go out to the victims and their families. My heart just breaks for them.

Bailey's Leaf said...

I certainly didn't want to dig deep, give inappropriate information for her age, but wanted her to be somewhat informed. TV off? Most definitely.

Rach said...

We didn't even mention it to Lil. She's still just young enough to not hear about it. I'm not trying to protect her, it just didn't come up organically, which is much of how our serious discussions come up.

I think giving all the facts you know in an age appropriate manner is the way to handle it--which is what it sounds like you and Janeen did.

:sigh: The news media is so desperate to be the first to report that I feel they often fly off in any direction with any information they have, not necessarily waiting to verify. They present conjecture which folks take to be fact and it all just spirals out of control. How about we just report the facts we have and make no speculations? :oS