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Back to school anxiety expected among some Michigan students today


Many Michigan school children may be feeling anxious about returning to school today in the wake of Friday’s school massacre. 

More than two dozen people died in the shooting spree at a school in Newtown, Connecticut.

A school counseling expert says teachers and other staff will have to be ready to help students with their concerns about safety.

Shawn Bultsma is the former president of the Michigan School Counselors Association. He also teaches school counselors at Grand Valley State University.

Bultsma says it’s important for teachers to talk with students about what’s worrying them.

“And that’s a time to sit back and listen to what that student might be concerned about, if it’s a specific student…sometimes these conversations happen with whole classrooms of students," says Bultsma. 

Bultsma says it’s important that everyone in the school is “on the same page” about how to respond to students.   He adds that maintaining a routine will also help those students who may be feeling anxiety.

Bultsma adds it's important teachers and others not be overwhelmed by the tragedy themselves.

" I think by and large children do as well as adults do around them," says Bultsma.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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