Lynchburg, VA - It can be difficult, talking to your children about a situation like today's in Connecticut. But there are ways to go about it.
If you've watched the news lately, it seems these shootings -- unfortunately -- are happening more frequently.
And while police are actively training to deal with them, counselors are actively training to deal with their effects.
The smallest of schoolchildren left with now, with the biggest of scars. Keeping your children shielded from the barrage of 24/7 news coverage can be difficult and counselors say, it can also be detrimental.
"Our job is not to hide our children from the world, but rather help them learn how to cope with it in a healthy way" said Campbell County Schools Counseling Supervisor Linda Grubba.
Don't inundate your children with the story. Limit news coverage to normal.
School Counselors say use this tragedy as a teaching tool...
"The children need to understand that there was a shooting in a school, that many children were hurt or killed, and that unfortunately there are some troubled people in the world" said Grubba.
Sandy Hook Elementary looks like many schools nation-wide.
Locally, Lynchburg police say a shooting scenario is one they hope will never occur, but one they must prepare for.
"We work very closely with city school division to ensure that we have open communication with them ensuring that they have crisis plans in place" said Lynchburg Police Captain, Capt. Ryan Zuidema.
Each school in Lynchburg has a crisis plan where teachers a trained in what to do during an active shooter scenario. A tactical response team is deployed by police immediately.
"They're hopefully going to be following those protocols that they already have in place so that when the officers do respond, that they can focus primarily on the threat that's in the school" said Zuidema.
If you choose, counselors at all schools are available to speak with your children. Also there are plenty of good resources to help you speak to your youngsters about this; this is one website that may help.