Local school districts are responding to a recent mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas.
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is among the districts that increased law enforcement presence on campuses this week. Superintendent Tricia McManus also sent a letter to parents on Wednesday. The district posted resources on its website for families who need support and tips to help talk with their children.
Director of Psychological Services for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, Corliss Thompson-Drew, says many staff and students are still healing after a fatal shooting at Mount Tabor High School last year.
"As a community and as a school system we are still in our journey to recovery trying to get our legs, our feet back under us," says Thompson-Drew. "This that has happened — because it was a school, because it involved children — is likely to have an impact. How significant, I don't know, but for people who are in the process of healing it's going to open some of that up a little bit again and people are going to be on edge.”
Schools also are focusing on reaffirming safety, reviewing some of the protocols and procedures that they have in place, and making time for students to talk about their feelings.
Director of Psychological Services for Guilford County Schools, Alexander Tabori, says it's also important to limit exposure to social media and news stories and to watch for any behavioral changes.
"Some may not express their concerns verbally but we want to make sure that we are trying to keep an eye on our changes and behaviors, so it may be appetite and sleep patterns, level of anxiety and comfort," says Tabori. "In most children those symptoms will ease with some reassurance and time. It's OK to see some of those behavioral changes over the next few days. If it gets to a point where that lingers for weeks that's when we have to start talking about maybe seeking some outside professional support."
Education experts say keeping a routine as much as possible is also recommended to help kids stay focused.