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United for Orlando

Resources for students, educators, and families to conduct meaningful conversations toward healing in the wake of the Orlando mass shooting and other national tragedies

"Orlando, we are holding you in love. In a thousand ways, we will turn our powerful love into powerful actions and stand against the hate that was unleashed against you."
--NEA President Lily Eskelsen García

Top Stories

National Unions Coordinate Support for Orlando Community

Leaders of the National Education Association, of the American Federation of Teachers, the Florida Education Association, the Service Employees International Union, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees released the following statements today on their coordinated efforts to provide support and resources to the Orlando community in the wake of Sunday’s horrific shooting.

Helping Orlando

  • Equality Florida Action

    For those in the Orlando area, Equality Florida Action, Inc.’s site includes resources for grief counseling, blood donations, and vigil information. For those outside the area, there’s also a link to a GoFundMe site to raise money for the victims and their families.

Talking with Children and Students About the News

  • Familia es la Familia
    A website dedicated to conversations about LGBTQ Equality with regard to immigration, marriage, school and community safety. Includes research on Latino Community Attitudes.
  • Keep the Herd Safe
    Packed with fun and informative activities that will encourage your students and their families to plan and prepare for disasters and stay connected with the In Case of Emergency Card, or ICE Card.
  • Share my Lesson - United for Orlando
    A collection of ideas on helping students cope with fear, trauma, grief, bullying, gun violence, traumatic events, stereotyping, scapegoating, and being an ally.
  • Helping Students Make Sense of News Stories About Bias and Injustice

    The Anti-Defamation League offers suggestions, strategies, and resources to help make discussions around national news stories that involve incidents of bias and injustice, rich and productive for students. The resources build in opportunities for students to read, write, research, speak, listen and understand vocabulary, addressing ELA common core standards.

  • National Child Traumatic Stress Network
    NCTSN offers advice for talking to children about the shooting.

  • PBS NewsHour Extra on Orlando
    PBS NewsHour offers a special segment for older students on the shootings in Orlando.

Helping Children Cope with Traumatic Event

  • NEA Healthy Future School Crisis Guide
    Knowing what to do in a crisis can be the difference between stability and upheaval. This step-by-step resource created by educators for educators can make it easier for union leaders, school district administrators, and principals to keep schools safe — before, during and after a crisis.        
  • PBS Parents - How to Help Kids Feel Safe After Tragedy
    PBS offers a comprehensive article on talking with kids about the news and how to handle tragic events. The advice is broken down by age, from 0 to 11 to help parents better tailor their communication strategies with their children.
  • National Child Traumatic Stress Network                  
    NCTSN has several pdfs and other resources for helping parents and children deal with catastrophic mass violence events, including parent tips for helping school-age children after disasters, which lists children’s reactions with examples of how parents should respond and what they should say.                        
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Disaster Distress Helpline
    SAMHSA lists the signs of emotional distress and offers a national disaster distress hotline, which provides 24/7, multi-lingual, year-round crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster.

Teaching Tolerance and Acceptance 

  • Promoting Compassion & Acceptance in Crisis
    Adults can help children understand the importance of treating all people with dignity and not judging entire groups of people for the actions of a few with the ideas in this article from the National Association of School Psychologists.
  • Empowering Children in the Aftermath of Hate – What Can Parents and Teachers Do?
    How can we begin and continue conversations about terror and violence with children? What can we say or do to help our children feel safe? The Anti-Defamation League provides some guidance and resources to help answer these questions, including lessons plans for different grade levels.
  • GLSEN’s Ready, Set, Respect! Elementary Toolkit
    We all want students to feel safe and respected and to develop respectful attitudes and behaviors. GLSEN developed Ready, Set, Respect! to provide tools to support elementary educators like you with these efforts. The kit provides a set of tools that will help you prepare to teach about respect and includes lesson plans that can help you seize teachable moments. The lessons focus on name-calling, bullying and bias, LGBT-inclusive family diversity and gender roles and diversity and are designed to be used as either standalone lessons or as part of a school-wide anti-bias or bullying prevention program.
  • GLSEN's Safe Space Kit: Be an ALLY to LGBT Youth!
    Designed to help you create a safe space for LGBT youth in schools, the Safe Space Kit is GLSEN’s Guide to Being an Ally to LGBT Students. The guide provides concrete strategies that will help you support LGBT students, educate about anti-LGBT bias and advocate for changes in your school. The kit not only guides you through making an assessment of your school's climate, policies and practices but it also outlines strategies that you may use to advocate for change, including posting a Safe Space Sticker or Safe Space Poster in your classroom or office.
  • Schools in Transition: A Guide for Supporting Transgender Students in K-12 Schools
    Co-authored by NEA, this guide is a roadmap for educators and parents to provide safe and supportive environments for all transgender students, offering practical advice, field-tested tips, and narratives of real experiences from students and educators.
  • Creating Safe and Supportive Schools for LGBTQ Students
    The National Association of School Psychologists offers a variety of resources about the needs of LGBTQ youth and ways to make schools affirmative and safe environments


Take the Pledge:

Take the pledge to change school climate and let’s make our schools Bully Free!