This week I am in Florida. A state with the unwanted distinction as being home to a tragic mass shooting at Pulse, a popular #LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Educators will undoubtedly have the difficult job of discussing what took place with students.
Fortunately, Jared Fox, the New York City Department of Education’s (NYCDOE) full-time #LGBTQ liaison has put together a helpful list of crisis response and emotional support resources. These were compiled to complement school-based support services and provide teachers with guidance and reassurance to students as they navigate their way through the coming days.
Fox advises that the resources at the links below were created specifically for the NYCDOE, but can be shared with others.
If your students are using social media you may also want to discuss what they are reading as the news is being reported using various hashtags. These include the following #LoveWins#WeAreOrlando#LGBTQ. You may want to look at ways different high-profile individuals are using and/or honoring this hashtag from elected officials to entertainers. You may want to discuss with your students what they want their contributions to be concerning this issue both online and face-to-face. The links to resources above share helpful places to turn and resources for support.
Discuss with your students what they may want to do locally both short term or ongoing. Does your school have a gender and sexuality alliance? It may be time to start one. Are there other ways they may want to show support? Work with a support team at your school (i.e. guidance counselors, social workers, parent coordinator, librarian) to discuss this with your students to find ways to support them so they can support themselves and others in this difficult time.
Images featured on Twitter with the #LoveWins hashtag.
Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning, The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.
Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.