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Letter from Chief School Administrator - Texas School Tragedy

May 25, 2022

Dear Families and Staff,

As I read about the tragedy that happened in Uvalde, Texas, at Robb Elementary, my heart breaks for the community and the many families impacted. It is difficult to fully comprehend the level of loss and pain they must be experiencing.

When events like this happen, we need to acknowledge and address our own emotional response and then be ready to support the children and young people in our care. Below are resources with tips for how to talk with children about school shootings as well as information on coping with grief and trauma.

To support children through such events, it is generally suggested that there are limits around the time children are exposed to videos or games that contain violence, as well as filtering input from television, radio, or social media to help protect them from persistent revisiting of tragic events. Further, adults may want to help children turn their emotions into actions as a way to counteract a sense of helplessness. Activities that l like, such as raising funds for the impacted families or writing letters of condolences to the families can help in that process.

Another important part of processing these events is an examination of our own practices and how we as a district coordinate with law enforcement and families to make sure we have systems in place to keep our schools a safe place. We are in the process of coordinating with local law enforcement agencies to review our systems and find ways to make improvements where needed.

The sadness that seeps into my heart after an event like this is difficult to accurately articulate. It is a reminder of how important it is to live my life with an awareness and appreciation of the ones I hold dear and the importance of supporting those around me with such profound needs.

All the Best,

Karen Melin
Chief School Administrator
Fairbanks North Star Borough School District