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White Plains teacher moderates classroom conversation about Capitol violence

A White Plains City School District teacher says students shared feelings of fear during a classroom discussion today following the violent storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters Wednesday.

News 12 Staff

Jan 7, 2021, 10:56 PM

Updated 1,256 days ago

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A White Plains City School District teacher says students shared feelings of fear during a classroom discussion today following the violent storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters Wednesday.
Seventh grade teacher Caryn Friedman says students seemed uncertain, fearful and had questions regarding how the event unfolded.
"The children really wanted to know why it took so long to stop and get under control, and that is a question I hear over and over,” says Friedman
The students expressed sadness, anger, and concern while Friedman tried her best to explain.
"They were also fearful that the government could have been harmed in the process of all of this and what would that do?,” says Friedman
Mount Vernon mother of two Desiree Susana overhead a similar conversation during her fourth grader's class Zoom meeting.
"I was very happy to hear that they started the conversation by setting the stage making it a therapeutic environment that it was a safe space,” says Susana.
Susana tells News 12 her 8-year-old daughter and her classmates posed many questions that were hard to answer, such as why people where climbing the walls and why people were carrying a Confederate flag.
The middle school teacher also mentioned the power of social media when it comes to current events.
"Current events are all over TikTok too, it’s not just dances and videos,” says Friedman. “They do see a lot there. They saw the same images that were on the major news outlets."
Child psychologist Brittany Miller says this generation has a lot to process as they live through civil unrest and an ongoing pandemic. She recommends fostering a conversation to allow children to express their thoughts and feelings.
"It is really important for us to help our students feel not only safe and secure but just really talk about how to engage with others and how to talk about differences of opinion,” says Miller, of White Plains City School District.
Miller says these types of conversations will help kids cope with the fast-changing society.


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