A Message From EPIC: McKinley School Violence

Dear Families, Partners and Community Members,

EPIC – Every Person Influences Children is deeply saddened by the tragic events at McKinley High School yesterday, as well as the surge of violence throughout our community the past several months. We are sending hope for strength, support and healing to all of those involved, to their families and to the community.

There are a variety of services and supports available to you and your family as you navigate the coming weeks. EPIC's support line (716-332-4111) is available to you, along with a variety of other resources:

Our online workshop, "Dealing with Crisis & Trauma", is available for free for anyone interested. This workshop helps parents guide their children through traumatic events. Below are excerpts from the workshop, and you can click here for the full version.

  • Take time to listen & reassure: When tragedy strikes, children often express worry and harbor feelings of guilt or blame. Reassure, listen to and comfort them.
  • Allow child to express feelings: Provide a caring environment where children can feel free to express their feelings, both positive and negative.
  • Provide extra love: Freely give children hugs and kisses. Show your love by writing supportive notes.
  • Praise Initiative and Task Completion: Use words of support and encouragement to give them a sense of internal control and thus strengthen their feelings of self esteem, sense of responsibility and competence.
  • Be Available: Spend as much time as possible with your children, reassuring them that the family – especially the adults – are available for them.
  • Emphasize Strengths and Security of Family: Let your children know that you and the other caring adults in their family are committed to doing everything they can to keep the family strong and secure.
  • Talk with Teachers: Talk to your child’s teacher about your child’s behavior and mood in school. Although many children act differently at home and at school, look for dramatic differences between before and after the crisis.
  • Normalize and Moderate Activities: In the aftermath of a crisis, extremes in any of your child’s behaviors are usually signs of severe stress and should be closely monitored and may require the help of a mental health professional.

As always, we are here for you, your family and the community.