Uvalde school shooting: HISD Superintendent Millard House II, counselor encouraged to speak to children about Robb Elementary tragedy
“It’s just every parent’s worst nightmare. The worst nightmare. All we ever want to do is protect our children, create a safe environment for them…To just rip everything away like that is just unimaginable,” Houston’s parent said. Stephanie Smith.
Addressing school safety on Wednesday, Houston ISD Superintendent Millard House II had this message for parents who are understandably scared.
“What I want to say to parents who have the same emotion is that we are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of your children is at HISD 1,” House said.
Superintendent House also encourages parents to be open and talk to their children about what happened.
“Let them know you’re interested in hearing them and want to know what they think. Those kinds of things will help them deal with it,” House said.
Regarding added security, House said he had a conversation with Mayor Sylvester Turner, who has agreed to provide additional support at the upcoming HISD ceremonies and year-end graduations.
The district also encourages students and parents to report anything suspicious. One way they suggested is the Say Something app.
Ty David Lerman, a licensed professional counselor, is also facilitating conversations between parents and their children in light of the tragedy.
“It’s a real opportunity for parents to step up and be authentic with their kids and say, ‘I’m scared too.’ ‘I’m scared too,’ and that I have faith in what the school is doing, what it can do, and that you’re safe,” Lerman said.
Lerman says that during these conversations, it’s also important to listen and validate what your children are feeling.
“Whatever your children bring home, it is once again important to validate their experiences. Make sure they feel seen and heard. Please don’t downplay their experiences,” Lerman said.
Julia Andrews, director of the Center for Safe and Secure Schools at the Harris County Department of Education, emphasized the community’s efforts to keep schools safe.
“We would also like to ask our parents and guardians, if you notice anything different about your child, please reach out and get help or seek help. Unfortunately, and sometimes when we see things, a lot of things that could have been avoided happen, we don’t say them,” Andrews said.
For parents like Smith, the move to safer schools can’t come soon enough.
“I really appreciate everything that the principals, the administration, the staff, the police are doing to keep the campus safe, but despite all of that, there’s always this feeling of insecurity because it can go so fast…” I think It There’s a level of practicality that needs to flow into the future of policy when you look at these bills, when you look at these issues,” Smith said.
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https://abc13.com/hisd-superintendent-counselor-talking-with-kids/11894918/ Uvalde school shooting: HISD Superintendent Millard House II, counselor encouraged to speak to children about Robb Elementary tragedy