Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Daily News Lessons (show all)

How teachers are talking about the Oxford school shooting

December 5, 2021


Last week’s shooting at a Michigan high school was the deadliest school shooting in three years and has led to fear, anger and anxiety at school districts around the state. And so have closings in dozens of schools because of threats and out of an abundance of caution. Our Student Reporting Labs and colleagues at Detroit Public TV talked to educators about how they are talking to students.

Note to educators: For guidance on how to talk with students about mass shootings, you may want to read Colorin Colorado’s 15 Tips for Talking with Children About Violence or SAMHSA’s “Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event: A guide for Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers.” As always, please preview all videos and articles before sharing with your students.

Five Facts

  • Why have dozens of schools across Michigan closed over the last week?
  • How is the shooting in Oxford affecting surrounding communities, according to this piece?
  • Who are some of the people interviewed in this piece and what are their backgrounds?
  • What are some ways students, teachers and parents can help each other process what has happened, according to this piece?
  • Where are students going to speak and listen about their feelings regarding the shooting, according to the teachers in this piece?

Focus Questions

In this piece, Superintendent Carrie Wozniak says that many in her community are angry, but that the anger comes from fear and grief that can be addressed with compassion.

  • What are some ways teachers, students and parents can practice compassion in the wake of tragedies like the one in Oxford?
  • What are ways teachers, students and parents can practice civic action to make sure a tragedy like this does not take place again? Does one example of civic action include fighting the gun lobby that holds much power over lawmakers across state governments and the federal government? Why or why not?

Media literacy:

  • What points were you surprised to hear the educators make? What points do you wish you had heard the educators make?
  • Does it make a difference that students were not interviewed directly? Why do you think this was the case? Explain.
  • Do you think it makes a difference that students produced this piece for the PBS NewsHour, a national newscast?

For More

How teens want to solve America’s school shooting problem


For more on what’s known and what’s been discovered about the shooting, see this story:

Educators: To receive the Daily News Lesson in your inbox each morning, sign up here.

Media literacy education

What is media literacy?

Media literacy is the ability to access, evaluate and create all types of media, including news media.

All of NewsHour Classroom's resources contain lessons in media literacy, including questions like who produced the piece and what do you know about them?

Start by evaluating this video introducing NewsHour Classroom here.