Toolkit for “When Bad Things Happen”

This toolkit accompanies the article “When Bad Things Happen,” and provides professional-development resources to support students affected by community violence. 

Community violence affects children, families and communities all across the country. When young people are affected by violence at home or in their community, teachers often provide a place of comfort, safety and counseling. Below are some organizations and resources that provide additional information about supporting students who have been affected by community violence. These resources include curriculum and activities teachers can use in the classroom to get students talking, thinking and reflecting on violence in their lives and communities. The resources also include links to checklists and diagnostic tools to help determine if your students need additional counseling or help. The online resources below include links to recent scholarly research and journal articles on youth violence and gun violence. 


The National Center for Children Exposed to Violence 

A national resource center providing research, tools and resources to help parents, teachers and community members reduce the prevalence of violence in children’s lives and mitigate the effects of violence on children.

What do they provide?

  • links to free publications, such as Helping Children in the Wake of Disaster 
  • links to training curriculum to help educators support students exposed to violence
  • links to diagnostic tests and checklists to help identify students suffering from the effects of violence


The National Institutes of Mental Health  

An arm of the National Institutes of Health, the NIMH is dedicated to researching the causes, effects and treatment of mental health and mental illness. It is the largest research organization in the world focusing on mental-health research. 

What does it provide?

  • booklets that provide guidance on helping children and adolescents who have been exposed to violence or disasters 
  • resources from the Health and Human Services Department on helping children deal with the Newtown tragedy
  • a report by the Surgeon General on youth violence


The Future of Children: Children, Youth, and Gun Violence

This online journal was created by the Future of Children, a nonprofit organization that is a joint project between the Brookings Institution and Princeton University. The Future of Children publishes two journals a year that aim to translate the most recent social-science research on issues affecting youth into information that policy makers, the media and advocates can easily access. This issue of the journal focuses on the effects of violence and guns on young people.

Articles include:

  • “Children, Youth, and Gun Violence: Analysis and Recommendations”
  • “Mitigating the Effects of Gun Violence on Children and Youth”
  • “Behavior-Oriented Approaches to Reducing Youth Gun Violence” 


The Illinois Council Against Gun Violence – Student Voices Project 

The ICGV’s Student Voices project helps young people in the state of Illinois reflect on the impact of gun violence on individuals and communities, provides tools and outlets for young people to talk about gun violence and suggests ways to make their voices heard. 

  • For students in Illinois, the ICHV offers a leadership development program called the Activist Institute, as well as a yearly poetry, essay and art contest
  • For educators across the country, the ICHV offers a Student Voices Curriculum providing interdisciplinary lessons for all grade levels that help student learn about, discuss and process issues and experiences related to gun violence.
Add to an Existing Learning Plan


    Offering a point of attention: The ICGV link in the last paragraph does not work.
    Group of adults listening to one person speaking.

    LFJ Workshops Now Available!

    Learning for Justice offers affordable professional development workshops for current K-12 classroom teachers, administrators and counselors, and for anyone who coaches classroom teachers and administrators. Explore the schedule and register today—space is limited!

    Register Today!