Parish Practice

Fear of the news

14 June 2017 | by Catherine Vale


It is not possible to try to shelter young people from discussion of the horrors of terrorist attacks. What is essential is to allow questions and debate while showing what is democratic and what is unacceptable.

Sharing bad news is, sometimes, unavoidable. The recent terror attacks in London Bridge and Manchester Arena have dominated headlines and much of the general election campaign narrative over the past month. They have been broadcast on our TV screens, in our newspapers and, increasingly, across social media. As adults, this type of news can be difficult to digest, but for young people, the confusion and fear may be overwhelming.

Terrible events like these are likely to be discussed in schools across the country and beyond, and teachers have a duty to ensure that these conversations are conducted in as calm, thoughtful and rational a way as possible. Talking about subjects such as terrorism can ignite wider discussions about politics, history or prejudice, all of which are so important in helping young people understand the world around them.

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