We are a death phobic society. Consequently, we provide very little help to our citizens in dealing with the one common denominator that we all face, the death of those we love.
The paucity of death education programs in our elementary and secondary schools is evident of our death avoidance culture. Although many of our schools do attempt to assist the thousands of children and adolescents yearly who lose parents, siblings, and other loved ones, their efforts tend to focus on how to assist the newly bereaved student in the days immediately following the loss. Very few schools have a long term approach that extends far beyond the immediate crisis, seeking to assist students with the life altering changes that follow the death of a family member.
Dr. Luciano Sabatini, a former school counselor and director of guidance, offers a guide to school based professionals, especially those involved in crisis counseling, on how to assist students through crisis intervention teams, educational awareness and support groups. He shares his experiences in working with bereaved students and what he has learned from them in coming to terms with a devastating loss. He also offers school leaders best practices in supporting grieving students and in managing a school grieving the death of a student.