Skip to content

Crisis Response to Trauma in Schools after the Homicide of a Classmate

1 CE Hour

Presented By

  • -
    Live Webinar


  • Live Webinar
    Access virtually on

This workshop will focus on trauma emanating from the homicides of children and teens both inside and outside of schools with a focus on practical steps for school mental health personnel to respond in the immediate aftermath and plan for ongoing intervention. Trauma affects children in many ways. It affects the developing nervous system and causes anxiety and terror, even in infants. It creates hypervigilance, dissociation, lack of empathy, and depression. In classrooms, it can manifest as underachievement, hyperactivity, and aggression. It can paralyze communities. When it comes to trauma responses in schools after student deaths (homicide, not suicide), social workers and counselors are often left floundering. Lack of training and resources, and administrative unresponsiveness (local and state) often coalesce at this point of grief when schools face the deaths of students. There are practical aspects and ethical issues to consider. Also of importance is how to prepare for vicarious trauma in school personnel. The day after a traumatic event, surviving students, no matter how disconnected they are from the academic demands of the school environment, want to connect with their school communities. This presentation will utilize case studies, the presenter’s and attendees’ experiences, research, and practical strategies to provide participants with a space to learn about this difficult topic.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this session, attendees will be able to:

1. Identify practical strategies that schools need to utilize in responding to traumatized students after the homicide of a classmate.
2. Explain how cultural, racial, and socio-economic issues impact children, communities, schools, and clinicians when a student dies due to a homicide.
3. Define ethical implications, including confidentiality, social media, and working with both families of victims and perpetrators.
4. Explain the need for self-care for social workers and mental health professionals working in school districts where there have been homicides and methods to avoid vicarious trauma.

CE Policy and this educator have no conflicts of interest and have not received any commercial support for this program or its contents.
Margaret O’Donoghue, LCSW, Ph.D.
Margaret O’Donoghue
Margaret O’Donoghue LCSW, PhD
Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, Rutgers University School of Social Work
Dr. Margaret O’Donoghue earned an MSW at Hunter College and a Ph.D. in clinical social work from New York University. She holds certification as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Certified School Social Worker, a Social Work Supervisor and an Educational Supervisor. Dr. O’Donoghue is currently an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at Rutgers University School of Social Work where she teaches graduate SW students and coordinates the Certificate in Child and Adolescent Well-Being in the MSW program. Before joining Rutgers University, Dr. O’Donoghue was an adjunct professor in the Graduate Department at NYU School of Social Work teaching clinical and macro practice classes. Additionally, she worked in Newark Public Schools as an administrator and social worker and as a field instructor for Rutgers and NYU. She is a passionate advocate for children, adolescents, and families. Her dissertation and publications have focused on mothering with a particular interest in how White mothers negotiate race and ethnicity in the parenting of Biracial children and adolescents. She has been a presenter and trainer for many agencies, including NASW, NASA, and CASA (court appointed special advocates). Dr. O’Donoghue’s work as a professor and a social worker in the community has been driven by the belief that social workers must maintain a focus on social justice, and it is necessary to do so with a guiding clinical lens.
Share this event with your colleagues!

Sorry, there was an issue joining the session. Please try again or contact [email protected].

Create a Account to Register for an Event

By creating a profile, you can seamlessly access your events and obtain CE certificates directly on our platform. Your profile is a vital part of verifying and tracking your attendance, and only takes minutes to get started

Already have a profile? Sign in below to finish registration!