WACO, Texas — Just one week ago, Michigan teen Ethan Crumbley killed four students and injured more at his high school. Following this on Friday, Midway Middle School went into lockdown for unknown reasons, finding later that it would be a false alarm.

Story continues below

“We proactively prepared for that just by saying that we wanted to debrief, and it’s really important in instances like that to give students place and time to be able to process what they felt,” Anne-Marie Zellers said, the Midway ISD Student Support Services Coordinator.

Although these incidents are very different, the fearsome students felt was still very real. “We also validate their emotions to say, absolutely, you know, that was a scarier experience and we understand how you feel, and so we talk about that and validate and then we just talk about, you know, taking some space from social media,” Zellers said. “Take a break from that because you’re right, sometimes that feeds those emotions, you know, and the stress and anxiety.”

Region 12 works with local school districts and other areas to help navigate a way out of the darkness during traumatic events like the loss of a school member or an active shooter.

“Try to provide them the opportunity to express to us how they feel, what they perceived about what has happened. Letting them know that their thoughts, their feelings are important,” Education Coordinator and Specialist Jeni Janek said. “We can’t say nothing bad will ever happen because that’s not true and we can’t ensure that that is the case. But we can’t help young people know that they are surrounded by school team members who are there for them and care about them and their families and the communities.”

If you or your student ever need to speak with someone regarding a traumatic event or any issues, feel free to reach out to that school counselor.