Education

Schools offer crisis intervention after shootings


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In the wake of last week’s fatal attacks in San Bernardino, parents and educators are figuring out how to discuss the events with their children. Some school districts in Southern California are using a nationally known crisis planning method to help students think about the shootings.

The program is called PREPaRE. It was created by the National Association of School Psychologists. The association created it to fill a need for crisis intervention for students as the number of traumatic events in and around schools have increased. San Bernardino school staff uses it to help students through traumatic events.

The program trains school psychologists and staff to move students from crisis mode to normalcy through "discussion and conversation and talking to them about how they might physically respond and how they might handle physical responses like your heart rate," said Charity Plaxton-Hennings, who oversees crisis intervention in the neighboring Riverside Unified School District.

She says this program is ideal for schools because many crisis intervention programs are designed only for adults. The idea is to get students back to healthy psychological functioning.