BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — It’s been a tough week for many people in the Buffalo community but especially for students in the Buffalo Public Schools who are feeling a range of emotions.
For some children in BPS, Saturday’s attack happened in the place they call home.
“We think we need to talk to kids and now isn’t a time so much for talking, it’s a time for listening,” said Samuel Radford, co-chair of “We the Parents,” an organization dedicated to helping students in the Buffalo district.
Radford also has several grandchildren in a range of different ages and has been having these conversations all week. He said having sincere conversations with students is crucial right now.
“You don’t want to get into too much detail about what’s going on, but my older grandkids they kind of know, they saw more than you would’ve like them to have seen,” he said. “This is real life, this is not something where the game is gonna be over and you’re gonna be able to play again or the people are gonna get up.”
On top of talking to students about Saturday’s attack, schools are also on alert due to threats made in the community.
Leaders said making sure kids feel safe in school is a top priority right now.
“I think we should seriously consider having a period of remote instruction and let people gradually work their way back to feeling safe. I don’t want instruction to suffer but I don’t want to be dismissive about how people are really feeling,” Radford said.
Keith Jones is on the executive board of the Buffalo Parent-Teacher Association and said overall when something like this hits a family’s neighborhood, that’s the time to be open with kids.
“You can’t sugarcoat. See, people don’t wanna say the word ‘white supremacy’ but it’s real so you might as well let these kids know what it is. Like I said, our kids are resilient,” Jones said.
BPS has grief counselors on hand and has made time for teachers to have discussions with kids about how they’re feeling.
The district will also hold a community forum and food drive for families next Tuesday.