School Climate & Safety

Resources to Help Students, Schools Cope With Violence

By Catherine A. Cardno — December 19, 2012 2 min read
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When a tragedy occurs on the scale of last Friday’s mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.—where 20 students and six educators were gunned down by an intruder—the impact of the event extends much further than those directly involved. Indeed, in this instance the ripples have extended worldwide as teachers, administrators, parents, and children try to come to terms with the terrible news.

In today’s post, I’ve built upon Amy’s entry on school violence and shooting from last Friday and included more book titles and other resources focused on helping educators help students.

Carolyn Lunsford Mears, whose son was at Columbine High School in April 1999 when two students went on a deadly shooting rampage there, has written today’s online Commentary for Education Week, on helping students and communities cope with tragedies. After the shootings at Columbine, Ms. Mears began studying how to help parents, students, and communities cope, and heal, after tragedies and traumatic incidents affecting schools. She has a new book out, as well, which was included in our book list on school violence and shootings that went up on the blog on Dec. 14.


The National Council of Teachers of English has published a page of resources for teachers to use in their classrooms—it includes lesson plans, articles, and the titles of literature that teachers can use to help students who’ve experienced tragedies.

Scholastic has also put together information designed to help K-12 teachers help their students understand the events in Connecticut as they process what has happened.

ASCD has opened access to Educational Leadership and Classroom Leadership articles that focus on preparing for a crisis, and helping students cope with grief and loss.


Bulletproof Vests vs. The Ethic of Care: Which Strategy is Your School Using?, edited by Denise Smith (Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2003).

How to Prepare for and Respond to a Crisis, 2nd Edition, by David J. Schonfeld, Robert Lichtenstein, Marsha Kline Pruett, and Dee Speese-Linehan (ASCD, 2002).

Safe & Secure Schools: 27 Strategies for Prevention and Intervention, by Judy M. Brunner and Dennis K. Lewis (Corwin, 2009).

Toward Successful School Crisis Intervention: 9 Key Issues, by Charles Jaksec (Corwin, 2007).

The Truth About School Violence, Keeping Healthy Schools Safe, by Jared M. Scherz (Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2006).

Violence in America’s Schools; Understanding, Prevention, and Responses, by R. Murray Thomas (Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2009).

The Violence Continuum, Creating a Safe School Climate, by Elizabeth C. Manvell Scherz (Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2012).

Violence and Security on Campus: From Preschool Through College, by James Alan Fox and Harvey Burstein (Praeger, 2010).

When Kids Are Grieving: Addressing Grief and Loss in School, by Donna M. Burns (Corwin, 2010).

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A version of this news article first appeared in the BookMarks blog.