Message from Superintendent Lynn Mackey

Resources for Talking to Young People About Conflict and Violence
Posted on 10/13/2023

Dear Community Members,

In these challenging times, it is crucial for educators and families to be aware of the accessibility of disturbing content and misinformation on various social media platforms. Even traditional media can be sources of graphic images and footage that may be unsuitable for young people.

Images of violent conflicts are not easy to process, especially for children and young people. It's even more difficult for those who have experienced trauma or witnessed violence themselves. The continuous availability of violent and harmful content can lead to feelings of fear, anxiety, and distress and can potentially desensitize them to the violence they may witness.

To that end, it may be important to limit our young people’s exposure to these images and monitor the impact on their emotional well-being. I encourage you to consider taking some of the following steps based on what you feel is best for the young people in your life:

• Consider deleting social media accounts from your child’s devices and limiting the amount of television to help mitigate their exposure to graphic and harmful content.

• Actively monitor your children's online activity and engage in open conversations about their digital experiences. Ensure they understand the potential impact of viewing such disturbing content on their emotional well-being.

• Emphasize the importance of online safety and responsible digital citizenship. Encourage them to report any unsettling content they encounter.

• Engage in open and honest discussions with your children about the potential dangers of such online content, including the emotional damage it may cause to young and impressionable minds.

Navigating the digital landscape and protecting your children from disturbing influences can be challenging. However, taking these steps can make a significant difference in preserving their emotional well-being.

Even if we are able to protect young people from graphic imagery, there will still be a need to discuss these complicated and confusing issues with them. We have gathered some resources to help you have productive dialogue with the young people in your lives.

Resources for Families

How to Talk to Kids About Violence, Crime, and War

How to Talk to Your Children About Conflict and War

How to Talk to Your Kids About War

Supporting Young People During Crisis

Resources for Educators

Facing History & Ourselves Resources

Helping Your Students Cope with a Violent World

Fostering Civil Discourse: How Do We Talk About Issues That Matter

Resilience in a time of war: Tips for parents and teachers of elementary school children

Resilience in a time of war: Tips for parents and teachers of middle school children

I hope these resources are useful to you.

In community,

Lynn Mackey
Superintendent of Schools

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