ST. ALBANS, W.Va. — A nationally recognized high school guidance counselor says students will deal differently with the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

St. Albans High School Counselor Richard Tench said an individual student’s history with violence will likely play a role in their response.

“There are certainly students in our communities that have been a part of gun violence in one way, shape or form,” Tench said. “For some students this may not hit home but for others this may be bring back some bad memories.”

As of Monday evening, the death toll from the Sunday night shooting was 58. There were more than 500 people injured.

High school counselors deal with traumatic events in three ways including acknowledgement of the trauma, create a support system to help them through the trauma and show them there is light at the end of the tunnel, Tench said.

“It can shock the system for some and I think it’s the status quo for others and that’s what kind of makes it tricky,” he said. “You kind of have to watch for the warning signs here at the school for those who may be impacted in a negative way by mass violence.”

Tench said it’s at times like these when the foundational relationships with students aid counselors.

“That’s it. Promoting that community and making those connections with students,” he said. “That allows us to implement effective academic and behavioral practices and help students, parents and teachers alike build some of those resiliency skills to help them through this situation.”

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