September 12, 2001
Crisis Intervention In The Freeport Schools
While the attack on
the World Trade Center went on, the Freeport school district took extra
ordinary measures to buffer the children from trauma. The teachers and
staff of each school were sensitive to what was taking place, so as not to
panic those students who had parents, relatives and friends who worked in
the Downtown area.
My wife, who
works in food services told me how, during each lunch period, students,
who had a parent who worked in the disaster area, were paged and asked to
report to the office. There they were gently told what they needed to know
and provided with the support they needed on an individual basis.
This took a
lot of fast action by each school to look up records and alert staff. It
was not an easy task. The teachers, in spite of their personal sorrows,
were able to comfort the students. The school district then combined the
students who weren't being picked up after school at the Atkinson school,
until a parent or guardian could pick them up.
including food services, stayed late to make supper for those who remained
behind. Thankfully, each child was picked up by the end of the evening.
school district, from the administrators down to the cleaners, deserve a
special mention for the swift and compassionate way they reacted to this
terrible tragedy and the care and professionalism they displayed.