Message from SADD’s Executive Director Penny Wells:
The violence at Virginia Tech has shocked and saddened us. First, we reach out to the families and friends of those affected by the violence and offer our deepest condolences. To those whose lives are changed forever, we share your grief and send wishes for your healing.
All of us are changed by an act so horrible. The idea that a student could kill so many students (and teachers) distorts our view of the American college experience.
Many of the students at Virginia Tech, perhaps even some who were physically injured or killed, came to that campus from SADD chapters in their home towns. SADD students at Virginia Tech, and at high schools and colleges across the country, have a role to play in speaking up to prevent and deter violence. They also have a role in the aftermath of a violent event, rallying their peers to reach out to each other, offering support and understanding, and taking action to help in the recovery from this horrible experience.
We offer the following resources for students looking for a way to respond to these senseless acts, and to prevent new nightmares from occurring on other campuses in the future.
- Read about the issue on our Web site
- Learn what SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) says about the tragedy and dealing with trauma: http://www.samhsa.gov/MentalHealth/understanding_Mentalllness.aspx
- Connect with other organizations with insight on the issue of youth violence:
- Read about coping at the NOYS (National Organizations for Youth Service) Web site: http://www.noys.org/Coping.doc
- Honor Virginia Tech Victims and Support their Families and Community in your National Youth Service Day projects:
Service has always been a strategy to assist those in need. As our Nation mourns the loss of the 33 victims of the Virginia Tech tragedy, National & Global Youth Service Day will honor those who died and support their families, students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and the Blacksburg community. Youth Service America encourages National & Global Youth Service Day participants to show their support in meaningful ways, such as:
- Wearing maroon and orange clothing or ribbons (the University’s school colors),
- Having a moment of silence at some point during your project,
- Posting a sign showing support,
- Discussing your group’s intention to honor those who died by making a contribution through service,
- Exploring future service projects that address violence, conflict-resolution, etc.
- Mental Health America has tips for educators, students and parents for how to talk about this tragedy: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/coping-virginia-tech
a pdf file.