National tragedy sparks open dialogue within South Sioux City School District

National tragedy sparks open dialogue within South Sioux City School District

With the Nation still trying to recover from the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school shooting, we talked with counselors from the South Sioux City School District on how they encourage students to keep an open dialogue with them at all times.

After talking with several of the counselors in the district they all said they want students to feel safe in the school, especially when talking about any issues they may have.

When tragedies like the one in Parkland, Florida happen, what do you say to a students in your own district?

"It's very important to listen to that student, hear out their concerns and answer the questions. Keep the information factual, short, and to the point," said counselor Jason Craig.

For the South Sioux City school district keeping kids safe and making sure they feel safe while at school, is and will always be a top priority.

After President Trump tweeted saying neighbors and classmates saw the signs that the troubled Florida shooter could be a problem, he urged people to always report such instances.

Craig said, "We encourage students to have an open dialogue with us and if they do see something that might be out of the ordinary, we are welcoming to hear that information and take it to the next step if need be."

The school district also implemented two tools to help keep that dialogue open for not only students but community members as well.

Counselor Stephanie Hames said, "One is called "Let's Talk" and the other is an incident report where students, or parents, or community members can give us their concerns anonymously and then it would eventually go to whoever it needs to go to in the district."

While the counselors have a great relationship with the students in the schools, so do their police liaisons who monitor the schools, and our a big help when it comes to practicing lock-down situations with the students.

"We really work as a community because when we practice those lock-downs often times we have our law enforcement there looking and also practicing with us to see how things are going, so then we can brief after that and what did we do good and what can we improve on," Hames said.

Hames said that the students and faculty practice a lock-down drill once a semester, so they and the students can understand what they need to do in a moment of crisis.

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