WACO, Texas (FOX 44)- The devastating news of a mass shooting in Uvalde has the entire country in shock especially educators.
“So our education community in the greater sense is something that all teachers, counselors, administrators, superintendents and any role that you can think of. We all take this very personally,” says Jenipher Janek Region 12 Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor.
19 children and 2 teachers were killed in the massacre at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde CISD. Jeni Janek, the youth mental health first aid instructor at Region 12 shares how parents and teachers prepare themselves to have these hard conversations with their children.
“We always handle fact based information. It’s age appropriate when we talk to our students, and then we give them an opportunity to engage with us and to ask us questions,” says Janek.
Janek says educators are encouraged to take behavioral threat assessment training, to identify if a person poses a threat and provide interventions before a violent incidents can occur. With the passage of Senate Bill 11, Texas now joins the short list of states in our country to legislatively mandate the implementation of behavioral threat assessment teams in its Texas public school districts and open-enrollment charter schools.
“We are trying very hard to ensure that as many people as we can have that training to understand those the situation of this of this magnitude as the details are still unfolding. We know that it doesn’t always follow a set pattern,” says Janek.
The recent shooting has been an extremely frightening experience, and the days, weeks, and months
following can be very stressful. The National Child traumatic Stress Network offers several resources for parents.
During this difficult time Janek wants to remind parents and educators to create a safe place with their kids.
“The largest and most effective factor for protecting our schools is to have every child in it, have a trusted relationship with a positive and influential and helpful adult,” says Janek.
As the Uvalde community is healing through this devastating time.
“They are in our thoughts and prayers. They’ll continue to be. And we are strong together because we’re going to be behind you,” says Janek.