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The death of an individual in the school community is a traumatic event and one in which the school needs to respond to in a caring and supportive manner. The development of this protocol comes from a belief that schools are a community of people who care for one another. In a caring environment, community members must be available to each other in happy as well as sad times. When grief is viewed as a normal reaction to loss, grief can be seen as a healthy and growth-producing experience.

Generally, the first reaction to a death is one of shock and disbelief, particularly if the death was sudden and unexpected. As the shock subsides, the emotional and physical pain associated with grieving becomes apparent. The role of emotional first aid providers is to encourage students and adults to express their emotions and to share with each other memories of the deceased. The gentle support all school community members give to each other during this time is the first step in healing.

Links:

A Parents Perspective
Coping with Suicidal Death
Coping with a Traumatic Event in the School (PDF)
Emotional Stages
Funeral Services and Memorials
Grief Support Group
Helping Those Who Grieve
High Risk for Complicated Grief
Parent Communiation
Roles of Staff
Sample Letter to Parents
Staff Checklist
Stages of Grief
Understanding Post-Traumatic Stress
Understanding the Religious Response to Death
Working with the Media
Bibliography


For more information or additional copies of the protocol, please contact:

Mary Cashman 
Assistant Coordinator of Special Education
Bettendorf
Phone: 563-344-6260

Sally Christophersen 
Administrative Assistant
Phone: 563-344-6231

© 2018 Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency