Talking to Kids About Tragedy

Talking to Kids About Tragedy

Education Specialist Emily Stupfel with members of the Ambassador Program. Photo by Jin Lee.

In the wake of the attacks in Paris, France, conversations around how to explain acts of terrorism to children have undoubtedly picked up in many classrooms. 

The topic has been discussed at length in the 9/11 Memorial Museum’s Ambassador Program

“We started by asking how they were feeling in light of the attacks, especially since one of our ambassadors is originally from Paris. Emily Stupfel, one of our education specialists, asked the students if the attacks were discussed in school, with most indicating the subject had been brought up by their teachers,” said Megan Jones, 9/11 Memorial education programs senior manager. “Several of them expressed that they felt well prepared to discuss the attacks, terrorism, and the many ways people respond to tragic events, based on what they are learning in their classes at the Museum.”

There have been several helpful stories written on the topic, including pieces in the Kansas City Star and The Atlantic

More broadly, the 9/11 Memorial offers online resources for talking to children about 9/11. Sesame Street also offers tools on speaking with children about tragedy. 

By Anthony Guido, 9/11 Memorial Director of Communications