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West Virginia school counselor offers tips to parents talking to kids about gun violence

MARTISNBURG, W.Va. — A Berkeley County Schools counselor is offering advice on how to talk to your kids following a mass shooting.

This comes in response to the latest massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas where an 18 year old gunman killed 19 children and two adults Tuesday.

Berkeley County Schools Counselor of the Year Michele Ransom said she thought a lot about what students and staff needed Wednesday before heading back to school.

“With all the training you get with working professionally with children, it homes when it’s something like this that is just so tragic,” Ransom said.

Ransom, a counselor at Rosemont Elementary School, was guest on Wednesday’s Panhandle Live, heard weekday mornings on the Panhandle News Network. She said the the school system already looks out for students.

“We’re pretty lucky that we typically have a police officer who normally comes by and checks around the perimeter of the school. That’s been an ongoing thing in Berkeley County Schools,” she said. “We’re still trying to keep the day as normal as possible.”

Ransom said she hadn’t seen any students expressing awareness about the shooting, but she said some may be listening in to parents’ conversation or overhear media reports.

“I’m sure there will be a few who have picked up on something. Some of our third graders are pretty in tune and can pick up on things when somebody is upset or worried about a situation,” she said.

When it comes to making kids feel safe, Ransom said parents need to listen.

“I think parents need to just be there for their kids. You don’t want to get into a lot of details with smaller children, but just reassure them that they are safe, they are being taken care of and that the parent is there for them in whatever way they need,” she said.

Reporter Marsha Kavalek contributed to this story.

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