By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s estimated that one in twenty American children will lose a parent by age 18 and the vast majority will experience the loss of a family member or friend by the time high school is completed.

Teachers, who spend every day with children, often see grief as a normal part of life and so don’t really address it. In dealing with a school shooting, the focus may be trauma rather than grief.

Kids who may be coping with the death of a sibling may be facing the dual challenge of their own emotions while trying to support grieving parents. Bereavement is not something you can diagnose and it’s not something you can treat.

To help schools, the Coalition to Support Grieving Students has launched a website with free materials and online professional development.

Education Week is a good source of information with examples of responses, what to say and what not to say when talking to grieving students.

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