How to talk to kids about school shootings

Posted at 6:08 PM, Dec 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-01 18:08:48-05

(WXYZ) — Tuesday’s deadly shooting at Oxford High School is troubling and difficult for the community to deal with.

Situations like this can be especially confusing for children.

Dr. Erin Henze, the director of the University of Detroit Mercy’s psychology program, shared how to discuss and help children cope after tragedies like this.

“Any instance of violence in school is way too many, and it’s very scary for students and parents,” Henze said. “But overwhelmingly, our schools are safe places for our children.”

She said parents can remind children that they are prepared to handle these situations from training they participate in at school. It's also important to let kids talk about how they are feeling.

"We also can remind them that their schools are full of grown ups who care about them and want them to be safe. So, helping our kid make sure they have one or two adults at school that they feel they can go to if they are worried, if they are upset or if they feel threatened for their safety," Henze said.

Henze also said it is important to pay attention to children who have dealt with traumatic experiences and if you notice changes in a kid's behavior.

Watch the full interview with Henze in the video player above.