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.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Police getting new tool to fight crime

    Sharon police working at crime scenes will be putting a powerful new investigative tool to work as soon as next month.

    April 19, 2014

  • Soap box derby finds new home

    The Greater Pennsylvania Super Kids soap box derby for special-needs kids is moving to Sharpsville.

    April 19, 2014

  • News briefs from April 18, 2014

    ‘Nonspecific threat’ prompts evacuation

    Supreme Court refuses to hear couple’s appeal

    Lung Association offering free radon test kits

    April 18, 2014

  • Man admits to choking; rape case is dropped

    A Greenville man on Thursday pleaded down a rape case to simple assault and continued to deny that he committed any sexual crimes.

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge issues tabletop ads injunction against couple

    A judge recently handed down an injunction prohibiting a Sharon man, his wife and two companies associated with the wife from working in the tabletop advertising business within 100 miles of Sharon.

    April 18, 2014

  • Tech waste eyed for new contact

    The current Hermitage solid waste contract was designed to increase recycling while reducing the amount of garbage placed at the curb, and it has lived up to its promise.

    April 18, 2014

  • WaterFire Rekindled

    WaterFire Sharon has chosen themes for its festivals to be held on three Saturdays in downtown Sharon. “Elements” will be the theme July 19, “Origins” for Aug. 23 and “Motion” for the Sept. 27 celebration.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from April 17, 2014

    Man arrested for running from accident scene

    UPMC, Southwest eyeing security at hospital

    Crashes cause diversion of Interstate 80 traffic

    Court supports prison term in chase case

    Woman gets 5-10 years in crash that killed officer

    April 17, 2014

  • Officials pledge support to sewer project

    Publicly declaring their intention to donate county land to the Upper Neshannock Watershed Authority, Commissioners Matt McConnell and John Lechner said there’s no need for Commissioner Brian Beader to worry about the loss of the sewer project at the Interstate 80/Route 19 interchange.

    April 17, 2014

  • Griswold Avenue fire Neighbors tried to save victim

    As flames and thick smoke poured out of a Sharon house Tuesday evening, neighbors rallied to try and save the man who lived there alone.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woman nabbed, sister sought in assault

    Southwest Mercer County Regional police have arrested a Hermitage woman for breaking into a home in Farrell and beating a woman and are seeking the alleged assailant’s sister.

    April 16, 2014

  • Despite good deeds, man going back to prison

    Linda K. Kretzer had nothing but praise for Raymond C. McKelvey.

    April 16, 2014

  • 15-year-old legal battle returning to county court

    State Supreme Court has let stand a Superior Court decision sending a landmark medical malpractice case back to Mercer County Common Pleas Court.

    April 16, 2014

  • Southwest mulls how to adopt study points

    Even though some members of the Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Department had little respect for a study of the department completed by a consultant, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. pledged to implement as many of the study’s recommendations as he could.

    April 16, 2014

  • Beader plans to resign, just not yet

    Democratic Mercer County Commissioner Brian Beader acknowledges that he intends to resign, but said nothing will happen until after he meets privately with the county’s judges next Thursday.

    April 16, 2014