School District Interim Superintendent Offers Parents Guidance On Helping Children Cope With Violence Filling News Headlines – Pasadena Now | #schoolsaftey

Pasadena Unified School District Interim Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Blanco issued an advisory to parents Tuesday in light of recent global violence, offering guidance on helping children manage the distress caused by these events.

“As violent events in Israel and Gaza make headlines, and as the war in Ukraine and the current crisis in Armenia continue to unfold on the news, it is important for parents, caregivers and educators to connect with students, listen to their concerns, and reassure them that they are safe,” Dr. Blanco wrote.

The internet has been flooded with news and videos of the savage surprise attack by Hamas on Israel last weekend. Many children have seen and read about the violence.

Dr. Blanco acknowledged the difficulty of understanding military attacks and human suffering, especially for school-age children. 

She emphasized the importance of parents, caregivers, and educators connecting with students, listening to their concerns, and reassuring them of their safety.

“PUSD would like to share some strategies for talking with your child about war and conflict,” Dr. Blanco wrote, listing the following techniques:

  1. Find out what your children know and how they feel. Try to shield very young children (age 2-6) from news. If you suspect they know something, check if it’s something that needs further discussion.
  2. Older children (age 7 – 12) should learn about what’s going on in the world but adults also have a duty to keep them safe from distress. 
  3. Teens are likely all-too-aware of what’s going on but their knowledge may not be complete. Teach them to question their social media sources and talk to a trusted adult. 
  4. In any case, try to listen to your student’s questions, validate their feelings, offer comfort and prepare to have multiple conversations as these complex world events evolve. 

Dr. Blanco said mental health services are available to all PUSD students.

Individual counseling services are offered through Student Wellness and Support Services. Mental health professionals are available to help students cope with their emotions, manage anxiety, and provide a safe space to express their feelings. 

Care Solace is another complimentary service available to the PUSD community. To find a mental health care provider, contact Care Solace at 888-515-0595 or

Wellness Rooms are open for students who may need to take a 10-15 minute break, learn and practice self-care strategies, and return to class. They offer safe spaces for students to gather, share stories and connect with other students who share similar struggles. 

The following resources were shared by the LA County Office of Education.

 Social and Emotional Learning Resources 

Handle with Care: Supporting Young People During Crises (Learning for Justice)

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