Helping children cope with violence - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Helping children cope with violence

Jaidon Hill Jaidon Hill
BRANDON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

 In the past week violent acts have been perpetuated against children in our community.

The shooting death of Stonebridge Elementary School student Jaidon Hill is the most recent.

How are parents helping their children cope?

 A memorial to second grader is set up at the flag pole at Stonebridge elementary in Brandon. Wednesday classes were canceled for parent teacher conferences.

 The seven year old was found fatally shot Tuesday with his family in an abandoned house in Copiah county.

 Andre and Tonie Hardy are Stonebridge parents now put into the position of explaining the tragedy to their nine year old son Matthew. "We talked to him and we explained to him that Jaidon's in a better place. It was only last year that he lost his grandmother which was my mother so all of this is kind of fresh to him,"said Andre Hardy.

 "I think he understands because we explained it to him when his grandmother died and you know when she died we just told him she went to Heaven. So I think he's knowing that Jaidon is in Heaven," said Tonie Hardy.

 Kelly Tanner's son William is in the third grade at the school. "If he know the boy and they were friends or he asked me questions about it I would address it. His dad and I would try to talk to him about it, explain to him that the little boy is better. He's in a better place and he's not hurting, and no one can hurt him anymore," said Tanner.

 One week before Jaidon's death three Jackson children, ages three, five and six, were shot while sleeping inside their home. They all survived. In July a nine year old was fatally shot while visiting family in Copiah county. Three months earlier, a 10 year old was shot in the head and killed in Vicksburg.

 The McClean Fletcher Center in Jackson offers free grief counseling. Coordinator Jennifer Goodwin says there are support groups for children ages four to 18 and their adult care givers. Goodwin said it is important that when children ask questions about death to summarize the question and ask the child what they think. That way the parent will know what the child is thinking before they answer.

 Stonebridge Elementary will offer counseling at different locations in the school Thursday as the children need it.

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