And now for the Elementary Schools...… A difficult, but necessary decision.
Especially after Sandy Hook and now after several school shootings across the U.S., Montgomery County Maryland Public Schools (MCPS) are finally implementing training for elementary-aged schools and children. It's about time! This is a challenge. The quest should be how to balance necessary conversations with NOT scaring (or scarring) children unnecessarily. But then again, this conversation is totally necessary. C.A.S.E. Training professionals are constantly discussing how soon is too soon to have these discussions. Well, I know this is not the answer everyone wants to hear but, that's different for everyone. As parents, we all should be having conversations with our youth about "how" to be safe. This training that Montgomery County Public Schools should be just a natural extension of that discussion in the event something "drastic" should happen. We can all agree that talking to elementary-aged children should be VERY different than how we talk to High-Schoolers. And still yet, it's different for Middle-Schoolers. Having a "standard" answer for these children that helps them better understand how to listen to their teachers and administrators is important. But even more important is extending that circle to include the parents who need to reinforce this training. Have willing parents participate and become involved. Invite them to participate. Invite them early enough for them to plan on taking the time out of their busy schedules to participate. Parents best understand the communication needs of their children and they can help to reinforce what the teachers and administrators are telling their children. This can DO NOTHING but increase the effectiveness, and potentially the survivability, of everyone attending MCPS.