Times: 6 - 7:30pm ET / 3 - 4:30pm PT / 12 - 1:30pm HT
Commemorative activities and memorialization in schools present opportunities for students and staff to take an active role in constructing an enduring memory related to a crisis event and to honor those whose lives were lost. As such, they can be important to help promote adjustment and recovery. But people, whether students, their families, or staff, often have very different -- and strong -- views about what should be done. If not done thoughtfully, the process can be contentious. This session will review key considerations for planning commemorative and memorial activities in school settings. Presenter David Schonfeld, MD, FAAP, will draw from over 30 years of experience in helping schools and communities through this process.
By participating in the session, participants will be able to:
- Anticipate and address spontaneous memorials in a school setting
- Guide the process of incorporating student input into the process so that the activities are developmentally appropriate and of relevance to the students
- Discuss the pros and cons of various forms of commemoration
- Anticipate resistance that may be seen among students and staff related to commemoration and memorialization
- Describe relevant policies schools should consider implementing related to commemoration and memorialization
Intended audience: educators; school mental health providers and support professionals (school counselors, nurses, psychologists, and social workers); school administrators; and community-based medical and mental health professionals providing support to schools and/or children and families
About the Presenter:
David J. Schonfeld, MD, FAAP, established and directs the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement (www.schoolcrisiscenter.org); the Center coordinates the Coalition to Support Grieving Students (www.grievingstudents.org), comprised of over 85 organizations including the major educational professional organizations. He holds a joint appointment at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Schonfeld has authored more than 100 scholarly articles, book chapters, and books (e.g., The Grieving Student: A Teacher’s Guide, Brookes Publishing), and he has given more than 800 presentations on the topics of pediatric bereavement and crisis. He has provided consultation and training on school crisis and pediatric bereavement in the aftermath of a number of school crisis events and disasters within the United States and abroad, including school and community shootings in Newtown, CT, Marysville, WA, Aurora, CO, Chardon, OH, and Townville, SC; flooding from hurricanes Sandy in New York and New Jersey, Katrina in New Orleans, and Ike in Galveston, TX; 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, China; tornadoes in Joplin, MO, and Alabama; and Great Smoky Mountain wildfires in Sevierville, TN. He has also conducted school-based research (funded by NICHD, NIMH, NIDA, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, William T. Grant Foundation, and other foundations) involving children’s understanding of and adjustment to serious illness and death, as well as school-based interventions to promote adjustment and risk prevention.
About the National Center for School Crisis & Bereavement: In 2005, Schonfeld established the NCSCB with funding from the September 11th Children’s Fund and the National Philanthropic Trust. Further funding from the New York Life Foundation has allowed the center to provide ongoing and expanded services. The center aims to promote an appreciation of the role that schools play to support students, staff, and families at times of crisis and loss; to collaborate with organizations and agencies to further this goal; and to serve as a resource for information, training materials, consultation, and technical assistance.
1-877-53-NCSCB (1-877-536-2722) firstname.lastname@example.org