AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– The Aurora School District is offering to help students sort through often conflicting emotions in the aftermath of last month’s theater shooting.
The shooting at the Century 16 theater left 12 dead and 58 others injured. Some of those in the theater at the time of the shooting are and were students from Aurora. They will soon return to school while the impact on the community remains strong.
“We’ll have a whole range of reactions based on students ability to cope with tragedy so we’re prepared to offer assistance to all of our students and our staff as well,” said Gateway High School Principal Bill Hedges.
The school district is working with counselors and psychologists to help students deal with many emotions as they return to class.
Mental health professionals will also be working with parents as their children prepare for the first day of school. They’re preparing for mixed emotions from students in response to the shooting.
“Our schools are safe. We have a plan and our students, families and staff are not alone,” said Aurora Public Schools Superintendent John Barry.
Barry described a recovery plan that will be put in place in three phases:
- Immediate response to the tragedy; several schools in the Aurora Public School system were used after the shooting to house victims, witnesses and evacuees.
- Preparation for mixed emotions; Aurora Public Schools is reaching out to all those injured in the Aurora Public Schools community. Psychologists, counselors and other resources are made available with help from a $50,000 grant from the Secretary of Education.
- Starting school; using the money and tools they have put in place, those resource3s can be put to use as students head back to the classroom.
“I think it’s real when you talk about how a community comes together. In spite of this horrible tragedy the fact that people step up,” said Barry.
Parents are invited to a meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at Range View High School. There will be experts available who can discuss with parents those resources needed in how to discuss the tragedy with their children.