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Talking to Children about Acts of Violence

By Principal's Message

Talking to Children about Acts of Violence 

In light of yesterday’s terrible event, here is information provided by the National Association of School Psychologists on how best to talk to children about violence. NASP has additional information online for parents and educators on school safety, violence prevention, children’s trauma reactions, and crisis response.

High profile acts of violence, particularly in schools, can confuse and frighten children who may feel in danger or worry that their friends or loved-ones are at risk. They will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and school personnel can help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security and talking with them about their fears.

  1. Reassure children that they are safe. Emphasize that schools are very safe. Validate their feelings. Explain that all feelings are okay when a tragedy occurs. Let children talk about their feelings, help put them into perspective, and assist them in expressing these feelings appropriately.
  2. Make time to talk. Let their questions be your guide as to how much information to provide.  Be patient; children and youth do not always talk about their feelings readily. Watch for clues that they may want to talk, such as hovering around while you do the dishes or yard work. Some children prefer writing, playing music, or doing an art project as an outlet.  Young children may need concrete activities (such as drawing, looking at picture books, or imaginative play) to help them identify and express their feelings.
  3. Keep your explanations developmentally appropriate.

o   Early elementary school children need brief, simple information that should be balanced with reassurances that their school and homes are safe and that adults are there to protect them. Give simple examples of school safety like reminding children about exterior doors being locked, child monitoring efforts on the playground, and emergency drills practiced during the school day.

o   Upper elementary and early middle school children will be more vocal in asking questions about whether they truly are safe and what is being done at their school. They may need assistance separating reality from fantasy. Discuss efforts of school and community leaders to provide safe schools.

o   Upper middle school and high school students will have strong and varying opinions about the causes of violence in schools and society. They will share concrete suggestions about how to make school safer and how to prevent tragedies in society. Emphasize the role that students have in maintaining safe schools by following school safety guidelines (e.g. not providing building access to strangers, reporting strangers on campus, reporting threats to the school safety made by students or community members, etc.), communicating any personal safety concerns to school administrators, and accessing support for emotional needs.

  1. Review safety procedures. This should include procedures and safeguards at school and at home. Help children identify at least one adult at school and in the community to whom they go if they feel threatened or at risk.
  2. Observe children’s emotional state. Some children may not express their concerns verbally. Changes in behavior, appetite, and sleep patterns can also indicate a child’s level of anxiety or discomfort.  In most children, these symptoms will ease with reassurance and time.  However, some children may be at risk for more intense reactions. Children who have had a past traumatic experience or personal loss, suffer from depression or other mental illness, or with special needs may be at greater risk for severe reactions than others. Seek the help of mental health professional if you are at all concerned.
  3. Limit television viewing of these events.  Limit television viewing and be aware if the television is on in common areas. Developmentally inappropriate information can cause anxiety or confusion, particularly in young children. Adults also need to be mindful of the content of conversations that they have with each other in front of children, even teenagers, and limit their exposure to vengeful, hateful, and angry comments that might be misunderstood.
  4. Maintain a normal routine. Keeping to a regular schedule can be reassuring and promote physical health. Ensure that children get plenty of sleep, regular meals, and exercise. Encourage them to keep up with their schoolwork and extracurricular activities but don’t push them if they seem overwhelmed.

Suggested Points to Emphasize When Talking to Children

  • Schools are safe places. School staff works with parents and public safety providers (local police and fire departments, emergency responders, hospitals, etc.) to keep you safe.
  • The school building is safe because … (cite specific school procedures).
  • We all play a role in the school safety. Be observant and let an adult know if you see or hear something that makes you feel uncomfortable, nervous or frightened.
  • There is a difference between reporting, tattling or gossiping. You can provide important information that may prevent harm either directly or anonymously by telling a trusted adult what you know or hear.
  • Although there is no absolute guarantee that something bad will never happen, it is important to understand the difference between the possibility of something happening and probability that it will affect you (our school community).
  • Senseless violence is hard for everyone to understand. Doing things that you enjoy, sticking to your normal routine, and being with friends and family help make us feel better and keep us from worrying about the event.
  • Sometimes people do bad things that hurt others. They may be unable to handle their anger, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or suffering from mental illness. Adults (parents, teachers, police officers, doctors, faith leaders) work very hard to get those people help and keep them from hurting others. It is important for all of us to know how to get help if we feel really upset or angry and to stay away from drugs and alcohol.
  • Stay away from guns and other weapons. Tell an adult if you know someone has a gun. Access to guns is one of the leading risk factors for deadly violence.
  • Violence is never a solution to personal problems. Students can be part of the positive solution by participating in anti-violence programs at school, learning conflict mediation skills, and seeking help from an adult if they or a peer is struggling with anger, depression, or other emotions they cannot control.

Kindergarten/Preschool Registration

By Announcements

Kindergarten & Preschool registration for the 2017-18  school year will be held Monday, March 27th from 8:00 – 3:00.   Parents need to bring:  birth certificate, immunization records, proof of address, and court documents (if applicable).

A.L.L. Testing

By Principal's Message

Gifted Services is currently doing placement testing for Elementary Magnet programs for the 2017-18 school year.  See the attached flyer for details.

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Literacy Night – Camp Read-a-Lot

By Announcements

Thursday, November 3rd from 6-7pm.  Come to a fun night at the school and hang out with your family and favorite teachers.  We are doing a “Book Swap” for parents and kids, so bring some old books to trade.  (If you don’t have any, don’t worry, we will have extras)

Thank You for Your Support

By Principal's Message

We would like to express our appreciation for your participation in our “Run for Our Playground” fun run fundraiser on Oct. 8th.  It was a great success!!  We were able to raise $12,600!  With your help and the support of our school district, we raised enough funds to purchase and install two of the three playground pieces for our school.  The order of these 2 “Big Toy” pieces will take 6-8 weeks to arrive and if the ground is not frozen, 4-5 days to install.  As you can imagine, the students are so excited to have a new playground and to have safe equipment for recess.  Thank you again for your donations with his year’s fundraiser.


By Announcements

Research says that one of the highest indicators of student success is for teachers to base their instructional decisions on assessment data and for students to track their own learning. In order to take advantage of these strategies, Bonneville teachers will be doing some testing at the beginning, middle and end of the each year. We will only do the testing that is necessary for great teaching and learning to happen. Please help your child be prepared for school by setting early bedtimes and making sure he/she has breakfast each morning. If you have any questions, or would like a specific testing schedule for your child’s class, contact your child’s teacher or a member of our testing administration at the school: Shawn Brooks, Janelle Griffiths, and Kelly Jeffery.

For exemptions from state testing, a form must be filled out each year. If that is an option you would like to explore, you will need to come to the office and ask to see a member of our testing administration.

Fun Run

By Principal's Message

Please join us on Saturday, October 8 @ 8:00am.  We are running to raise money for a new playground at Bonneville Elementary.  There will be a 5K Run, a 1 mile run, a Pancake Breakfast, T-shirt sales, silent auctions, and prize drawings.

If you buy a Fun Run T-Shirt, Race Ticket, or make a $10 minimum donation, you will also receive all of these coupons  – $27 value (one packet per participant)

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5K (click map to enlarge)


1 mile (click map to enlarge)


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Free Summer Meals Program

By Announcements

Free meals (Breakfast & Lunch) will be made available to ALL children under the age of 18 years old throughout the summer at various schools.  See the schedule below for specific locations and times.

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Preschool Registration

By Principal's Message

We are accepting applications for our preschool program.  Please read the flyer for more details.

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