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Talking to Our Job Corps Students about the Virginia Tech Shootings

The best thing that we can do for our Job Corps students is to talk with them honestly about the Virginia Tech shootings. And then listen carefully to what they say back to us. Let them know what staff persons on center they can talk to about the feelings they may have regarding the Virginia Tech shootings.

Here are some things to consider:

  1. Find out if any of our students may have family or friends affected by the shootings and develop a support plan for that student.
  2. Let our students know how difficult this event is and how sometimes it may be hard to cope with painful feelings. Give them permission to talk freely about how they feel.
  3. Express compassion for the Virginia Tech students and their families.
  4. Our students need to be reassured that they are safe on center.
  5. Try to get a sense if they feel safe on center.
  6. Tell them that they can help keep our centers safe by letting staff know if there are students who talk or write a lot about violence, or threatens violence to themselves or others.
  7. They can help keep our centers safe by letting staff know if there are students who may be bullied or picked on.
  8. Talk about the social forces that cause violence–gun control, media violence, etc. Ask for their opinion about what may have caused the shootings.
  9. Encourage our students to respond actively to this tragedy, maybe they would want to do something positive about the tragedy in their own way.


Warning Signs of Youth Violence – A brochure by the American Psychological Association..

Campus Violence White Paper by the American College Health Association.