Guides will help grieving

As the world prepares to commemorate the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States that left thousands dead, TES writers find some American schools are taking the event seriously, while others are more concerned with their day-to-day problems

NEW York's education department has released guides to help children cope with the anniversary which falls a few days after the city's schools re-open.

The guide for five to eight-year-olds "Hope, Healing and Remembrance, One Year Later" prepared by the Schools Mental Health Alliance, avoids making direct reference to September 11.

"We didn't want anything that would provoke strong reaction that children or teachers might not be prepared to deal with," said Dr Rona Milch Novick, one of the psychologist authors of the guide.

It raised questions about their feelings and about what happens when people die suddenly.

For older students, the department has published a guide written by Yale University's National Center on Children Exposed to Violence and the Child Study Center at New York University.

It warns that commemorating the event risks causing even more anxiety for those who want to forget the attacks. It says it is up to teachers to find ways of addressing the events without imposing emotional responses on students.

Some principals will hold simple memorial assemblies, while others have encouraged teachers to take students to one of the many events taking place, such as the memorial service that begins at 8.46am, when the first aircraft struck the World Trade Center.

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