Wausau district leaders ready to help coping students - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wausau district leaders ready to help coping students


Explaining the Boston Marathon tragedy to children can be difficult, but there are effective ways to keep the communication open.

Teachers at local schools told Newsline 9 they are talking to students about what happened in Boston, but only when those children are ready. School leaders said the door is always open.

Wausau District leader told us they've found that's the best way to help everyone heal in times of great tragedy.

They said no conversations are planned about the Boston Marathon bombing, but that doesn't mean there aren't resources available.

"We have counselors at every building. We have counselors that can kind of get an idea of what the concern level is and deal with it appropriately from that point," said Wausau School District Director of Pupil Services Jeff Lindell.

Lindell said with deadly situations like the one at the Boston Marathon, the Wausau district tends to use the same policy.

"In many cases, we practice a wait and see mentality, to see what kinds of conversations come up and try to handle those things as they come up. And then put the kids in the right resources," said Lindell.

Lindell told Newsline 9 the way schools deal with devastation is constantly changing.

"I think we are always looking at what our practices are from an educational stand point and how to handle situations best," said Lindell.

But ultimately, Wausau district leaders said they're leaving it up to parents.

"Some parents like to shelter their kids from a lot of the things you're seeing with the Boston tragedy. And some parents like to tell their kids everything that's going on and maybe even have their kids sit there and watch the media coverage as well," Lindell told Newsline 9.

Psychologists said children respond best to these tough conversations when it's with someone they feel comfortable with.

"They will find out about it. And then if it's not being explained by people that they trust and in a way that is both calming and truthful, then it's apt to cause more anxiety in them," said Wausau psychologist Cate Bard.

Experts add it's all in the approach.

"It is good to have a discussion about it, but not too much overexposure," said Bard.

Newsline 9 did reach out to a number of different school districts in our area. The approach there is very much the same as it is in Wausau. All of them said the door is always open for conversation, when students are ready to talk.

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