District Message Regarding Recent Elections

District leadership has received inquiries on recent election results and the way in which students and staff are responding to that event. Please take a moment to read…

Today and every day, the Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) is committed to “Putting Students First” and we remain steadfast in our efforts to support each student, our staff, and our community.

Stressful events take different forms — natural disasters, personal loss, school violence, political unrest — and their effects on us vary. Our reactions to stressful circumstances can impact students and staff who are directly affected, as well as their families and community members.

During stressful times, students and staff may experience a wide spectrum of emotions. But, stress can become a problem when we are unable to cope well with it and when it gets in the way of going to school, doing our jobs, or taking care of ourselves and family. Coping well with stress begins with recognizing how we are reacting and taking steps to manage our reactions in a healthy way.

Common Reactions to a Stressful Event
· Disbelief and shock
· Feeling sad, frustrated, helpless, and numb
· Fear and anxiety about the future
· Feeling guilty
· Anger, tension, and irritability
· Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
· Crying

Although students and staff may react differently to a stressful situation, it is important to assess the impact to provide appropriate support.
· Determine Impact – Encourage teachers to ask students how they are feeling about the events taking place. Some students may be experiencing fear and anxiety, while others may be coping well. This is an opportunity for students to share their thoughts and feelings and at the same time listen and support one another. Restorative circles can be used to do this. Some students may struggle to share how they feel or may not have the right words to describe their emotions. They tend to show their stress through their behavior. Staff are encouraged to focus their interest on the students’ experience rather than on the behavior that results from it.
· School Response – If students are having a difficult time, it may be helpful to bring a counselor or district staff to talk with students about the stressful event. Encourage students to ask questions, and talk about their fears and unpleasant feelings. If a student has additional worry, it may be time to seek additional help.
· Continued Efforts – Many students experience extreme stress and similar symptoms as those of adults. During these times, students must depend on the adults around them to help them. Staff is reminded to continue their efforts to build safe, respectful, and positive school and classroom environments.
· It’s important to closely monitor the reactions of staff for signs of stress.

Strategies to reduce stress: · Acknowledge their feelings
· Promote a positive environment by modeling healthy coping behaviors
· Model respectful behavior by maintaining equitable treatment of each member of our learning community

Finally, and most importantly, keep calm and take care of yourself! Students often are impacted by the stress they see and feel from the adults around them. We continue to be a district where we not only respect our diversity and differing viewpoints, but we also encourage dialogue and better understanding of one another.

Each and every day, regardless of what happens around us, we are given the opportunity to educate students and have a positive impact on their lives. We can only be successful at this if we take care of ourselves and take care of each other.

We thank you for the opportunity to serve you and please know that we are here for you as a resource.