We share this San Francisco Chronicle story about how teacher Steve Rubenstein, the husband of PAA founding member Caroline Grannan, talked to his students about the Sandy Hook school tragedy:
Back at Buena Vista Horace Mann in San Francisco’s Mission District, another teacher, Steve Rubenstein, learned of the tragedy by phone as he and his sixth-graders trooped back to class after seeing a play. A former newspaper reporter, Rubenstein felt it was important for the students to know.
He teed it up slowly, even gently.
“Shhh!! Eyes on me!” he told the class. “I want to tell you something kind of important that happened this morning. It may scare you. This morning, on the other side of the country, there was a very, very sad thing that happened in a school.
“You’ll be hearing about this later on the news, or on YouTube, on Facebook, or in the newspaper or radio.
“In Newtown, Conn., at an elementary school, there was a shooting where some adults and children were injured, and it looks like they may have died,” Rubenstein said. “I want you to hear it from me first. … The thing to remember is that schools are a safe place.”
One girl asked how Rubenstein had heard the news. Another asked who died. A third wondered when….
Overall, the students said they were sad but glad to talk about the tragedy in class.
“It’s our world, and they live in it, too,” Rubenstein said. “They’ll find out anyway, but this is the best way possible.”
Thank you, teachers, for being there for our children in every kind of situation.