The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

May 7, 2013

School crisis seminar aim: Bring help to kids

HERMITAGE — A real-life call of duty is presenting itself in today’s culture, Dr. Tina S. Brookes said Monday.

That “call” is helping children respond in positive ways in a world that’s growing ever-more violent and depraved.

“We’re beyond writing and complaining to Congress about it,” Brookes said. “We should do what we need to do.”

Brookes was speaking to 57 people from seven states who attended a school crisis management seminar that continues today at Hermitage Volunteer Fire Station Three on Maple Drive.

She spent about an hour detailing the harmful effects of exposure to violent multi-media content most notably present in video games but that’s also pervasive on television and the Internet.

Prolonged exposure to “violent visual imagery” changes the brain, studies suggest, she said.

Brookes’ lamentation is one of a litany of indictments against things like the video game “Call of Duty” that recreates the horrors of war.

But she went beyond decrying or trying to blame playing video games for bad behavior. Instead she posed a possible solution.

“Why don’t we make a difference?” she asked. “Make an impact on your little corner of the world. Increase your awareness of this stuff.”

The segment about encouraging families to “unplug” from the world of screen time to interact in better ways was one of several topics covered in the seminar, which was called “Managing School Crises: From Theory to Application.”

Brookes specializes in critical incident crisis response and has offered her expertise after events like last year’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

The idea of Brookes’ presentation in Hermitage was to bring “top-notch” training to the Shenango Valley, said the Rev. David Williamson.

Williamson is pastor of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Hermitage. He also serves as chaplain for the city’s police and fire departments.

“When something terrible happens at a school, police and fire have procedures for keeping people safe,” Williamson said. “But now what? What do we do with kids who’ve seen something terrible?”

Answering that question and those like it was the ultimate aim of the seminar, he said.

South Pymatuning Community Church Pastor David Searle said he attended to make sure he’s prepared to respond to a crisis in the community.

“Something could happen in our area,” he said, adding that if and when it does, he wants to be able to lend a helping hand.

“This is excellent,” said Bill Rudge of the Hermitage-based Bill Rudge Ministries. “You’ve got key people from police, fire, schools. This is very well put-together.”

Text Only
Local News
  • News briefs from April 24, 2014

    April 24, 2014

  • Bus cameras will be listening, too

    Hermitage School District is taking advantage of a recently enacted exemption to the state’s wiretap law in allowing officials to turn on the audio recording capability on school bus and vehicle video cameras.

    April 24, 2014

  • Union, city OK 4-year contract

    Hermitage’s nonuniformed employees have a new four-year contract that gives them average pay hikes of 2.5 percent a year and the opportunity to live outside the city limits, while allowing administrators more flexibility in scheduling.

    April 24, 2014

  • 2 principals to be hired

    Sharpsville Area school directors needed a shove to make a decision but the board voted Tuesday to interview candidates and hire two principals for 2014-15.

    April 24, 2014

  • Prison term upheld for sex offender

    A sex offender challenging a 4- to 8-year prison sentence for a probation violation lost an appeal of that sentence.

    April 23, 2014

  • Man, 24, must register as sex offender for life

    The Ohio man who exposed himself to Sharon girls on their way to school last fall must register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life when he gets out of jail.

    April 23, 2014

  • Man deemed predator – for now

    A former Sharon man was sent to the state prison system Tuesday for corrupting the morals of a teenage girl, but the question of whether his penalties under Megan’s Law will stand could be subject to future legal proceedings.

    April 23, 2014

  • Not even waste will be wasted

    Tom Darby admits he wishes the startup of the anaerobic digestion process at the Hermitage Water Pollution Control Plant had moved along much faster.

    April 23, 2014

  • 3rd Earth Fest draws families to Penn State

    Penn State Shenango’s Earth Fest has become a spring tradition for area residents.
    Families poured into downtown Sharon for the campus’ third annual sustainability celebration.

    April 22, 2014

  • Amish clean Shenango River Volunteers protect Shenango River

    Shenango River Watchers has spent more than a decade working to clean up the Shenango and improve recreational access to its water and banks.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • For many, recycling’s become way of life

    When Pennsylvania mandated curbside recycling for its larger municipalities in 1998 – those with more than 5,000 people – there was grumbling about government interference in the lives of everyday people.

    April 22, 2014

  • Many items can’t be thrown away

    The computer screen in front of you isn’t likely to do you much harm, at least not until it’s tossed in a landfill where the lead-filled components start to leak and eventually find their way into your drinking water, according to Jerry Zona, director of the Lawrence-Mercer County Recycling/Solid Waste department.

    April 22, 2014

  • David Sykes' solar panels Earthworks

    While touring Germany last year, David Sykes spotted solar panels resting in a residential back yard.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Burned using Icy Hot, woman claims

    A Grove City woman has sued Chattem Inc. and Rite Aid of Pennsylvania Inc., alleging she suffered a second-degree chemical burn using one of Chattem’s Icy Hot pain relief products.

    April 21, 2014

  • Family outing Family friendly

    “We’re No. 5’’ isn’t a sports cheer you’ll hear any time soon.
    But considering the lumps the greater area has gotten over the years on economic rankings, it’s an outright victory.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
AP Video
Sharonheraldnewspaper Facebook Page