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Resources for families and educators on events in Israel and Gaza

Santa Barbara County is home to students and staff with ties to Israel and Palestine. In these challenging times, it is crucial for educators and families to have access to appropriate resources to engage in meaningful discussions with students about the events in Israel and Gaza. 

As is the case with other violence around the world, it is likely that our students have access to unprecedented levels of information and potential misinformation. In addition, graphic images and footage of violent conflicts are not easy to process, especially for children and youth. It's even more difficult for those who have experienced trauma or witnessed violence themselves. 

Parents, caregivers, and educators are faced with the challenge of explaining violence and war to children. Although difficult, these conversations are important and in the context of human history help us work towards peace. 

Below are resources to help children feel more secure and understand the world in which they live. These resources are intended to provide access to information and parents/educators are encouraged to determine which ones are most appropriate for their students. 

Resources for families:

How to Talk to Kids About What's Happening in Israel Right Now: This article from Kveller shares balanced scripts parents and family members can use with their children based on their age range. 

How to Talk to Kids About Violence, Crime, and War: Common Sense Media gathers tips and conversation starters to help you talk to kids of different ages about the toughest topics.

Talking to Your Kids About War: VeryWell Family explores ways families can speak with young people about war, including tips on sharing information and restricting media coverage.

How to Talk to Your Children About Conflict and War: UNICEF’s guide offers eight tips to support and comfort your children.

Handle with Care: Supporting Young People During Crises: Learning for Justice offers recommendations and resources to help guide conversations with young people and to manage potential subsequent actions and reactions.

How to Talk to Kids About Violence in the News: Common Sense Media offers language for talking to and listening to children when they see or hear about violence in the world.

Resources for educators:

Judy Pace – Teaching Controversial Issues: A Framework for Reflective Practice

Street Law – Classroom Deliberations

Constitutional Rights Foundation – Conducting a Civil Conversation in the Classroom

PBS Learning Media lesson plan for grades 9-12 on Making a Difference in the Midst of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict