Responding to a School Crisis
The immediate goals of school staff after a crisis are to reestablish a sense of safety and restore the learning environment at the school. The first step is to ensure that the building and grounds of the school are secure and well monitored so that students and staff can regain a sense of trust and safety.
To achieve these goals, each member of the school community must work both individually and as a member of a team to take the steps needed to restore balance to the school environment. Positive working relationships among school staff not only achieve the goal of recovery from a school crisis, but the staff's actions provide positive role models for students and life-long lessons about how to conduct oneself during times of adversity.
For information on funding for school-crisis recovery, please visit the U.S. Department of Education SERV Funding for Crisis Recovery.
(The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, through Congressional action, has made funding available under the auspices of Project SERV (School Emergency Response to Violence). Project SERV specifically funds "education-related services to local education agencies in which the learning environment has been disrupted" due to a sudden, unexpected or violent event that may involve physical harm and fear. Once a school's application is submitted and approved, the "education-related services" may include intermediate and longer-term mental health recovery efforts necessary to restore the learning environment of the school.)
For additional information on dealing with school crises, please visit the 3R's of School Crises and Disaster.
Available Now! Psychological First Aid for Schools
Mass Violence Responses
- Talking to Children about the Shooting
- Psychological Impact of the Recent Shooting
- Tip Sheet for Youth Talking to Journalists about the Shooting
- Tips for Parents on Media Coverage
- Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth after the Recent Shooting
- After the Shooting: Helping Young Children Heal
- Parents Tips for Helping Preschool-Aged Children after Disasters
- Parents Tips for Helping School-Aged Children after Disasters
- Guiding Adults in Talking to Children about Death and Attending Services
- Restoring a Sense of Safety in the Aftermath of a Shooting: Tips for Parents and Professionals
Individualized Guidelines for Key School Personnel