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Re-establishing a safe place | How counselors are working with students following bus stop shooting

JCPS counselors are working with students who are traumatized by Wednesday morning's bus stop shooting.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) counselors are working with students who are traumatized by Wednesday morning's shooting.

An Eastern High School student was shot and killed after a drive-by shooting in the Russell neighborhood. Two other students were injured.

One therapist said all the stressors of gun violence coupled with the pandemic and everyday school-related issues re-establish how a safe environment is important.

"This morning a bus stop is no longer safe,” Transcend Counseling's Tiffany Harris said. 

Harris is a licensed therapist and said everyone in the child's life needs to be involved in creating a safe environment for kids to share their feelings following a traumatic experience.

"Meaning asking kids what makes you feel safe, what things can we do in the home that make you comfortable,” she said.

Even listening to your child when they are ready to share helps them in knowing that it is safe to express how they feel.

There are 300 counselors with JCPS, each one prepared to meet all of the students' need.

The services provided are to help students process what they have experienced and are offered in a variety of ways depending on a student's need.

"Our kids have been through a lot over the last couple of years. not even with just this event, but there are a lot of things that have happened in our community that's compounded—that's impacted our children,” JCPS counselor Michelle Sircy said. "Our primary goal is to give them a safe space to talk. give them positive coping skills and we're triaging students and identifying students that may need more additional intensive counseling after the crisis team has left."

Sircy advised students and parents affected by this tragedy to reach out school system's counseling page.

RELATED: After bus stop deadly shooting, community leaders say city resources are misdirected

RELATED: 'When is enough? It’s past time' | Community, city leaders react to deadly shooting at Russell neighborhood bus stop

Contact reporter Gabrielle Harmon at GHarmon@whas11.com or on Facebook or Twitter. 

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