UPDATE: MMSD offering counseling in schools Monday - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: MMSD offering counseling in schools Monday


MADISON (WKOW) -- Mental health professionals with the Madison Metropolitan School District specifically prepared themselves and other staff members to help students deal with last Friday's tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT.

They say leading by example is the best way to help children, especially younger ones.

Counselors lent their ear and advice to staff, students and parents around the district Monday, but perhaps none needed the help more than those at one east side elementary school.

Students at John F. Kennedy Elementary found live ammunition on school grounds.

"I think its weird.  They shouldn't be there," said Maggie Jirsa, who came to pick up her granddaughter after school.  "I mean what does it mean?  Its too close to home."

Madison Police recovered a number of bullets and a spokesperson says its the third time this has happened here.

The first two incidents came in November of 2011.

"I hope its a benign situation.  I mean it can't be real, like what happened in Connecticut," said Jirsa.

No direct threats were made against children however, and while Madison Police say its likely that all three incidents are related, they hope its nothing more than a sick prank.

At other schools across the district, counselors urged staff to be vigilant.

"At many of our middle and high schools, many teachers are engaging in conversations with students about what they've heard and what they've experienced," said Jeannette Deloya, a social worker for MMSD.  "And in some of our younger classrooms, we may not necessarily encourage a full announcement for a classroom, but we want the teachers to be responsive to what they're hearing kids say and how they are seeing them behave."

Deloya says the message about behavior is also going out to parents.

"They include an encouragement to all adults to remain calm and to manage their own anxiety.  And also, to be there and to know their children and to provide what their children need.  To listen, to explore with them what kids know and what they don't know and to provide reassurance," said Deloya.

Those mental health professionals told staffers that children who are worried or scared need to be reassured that their school is one of the safest places they can be.


MADISON (WKOW) -- The Madison Metropolitan School District is offering counseling services at several schools Monday in the wake of last Friday's mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.

MMSD also sent out an e-mail to parents on Sunday night, offering tips on how they can talk to their kids about what happened. Students will receive a letter with those same tips on them to take home Monday.

MMSD sent an email to staff last Friday, reminding them of the procedures that are in place to talk with students about such tragedies.

27 News' Greg Neumann is talking with school counselors about their efforts and will have more on this story on 27 News at 5 and 6.



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