We addressed Sandy Hook in a vague, prepared statement. The nature of school shootings carry very different notions and it is up to the parents to decide what their children hear. Elementary students often misinterpret information and it creates even bigger issues. I can't control what is said on the playground or lunchroom, but I can control my classroom environment. I teach 8/9 year olds ( you know, Pirate's peer level); they can actually have mature conversation about these things, but I will not be the one to open these discussions. The last thing I need is Sally's* hyper protective mom complaining that I created a fear or nightmare for her child. As I see it my job is reading writing math and science. Not parenting choices like discussing world politics. I teach third grade. Developmentally, these kids are very 'me' focused, and events at a distance are not necessarily real to them; I don't need to open that door. There are plenty of things that take priority over discussing this sort of event. I'm sure I'll have an email in the morning about how to handle the topic, but if a student brings it up I will say that terrible things happen in the world sometimes, but its how we respond and react that matters. My focus will be on those who leapt to action to assist those in need. Our school district had a school that serves our poorest population of students burn to the ground in January. We took in three classes of students to our building, as did other schools in the area. That's a much bigger story and reality for my students. Something that happened in Boston pales in comparison, from their perspective. I, of course, see an act of terror in a very different light than an accidental fire; I include this to put it in perspective of the third grade point of view. In short, they're kids. No need to rush their education on terrorism. They have lifetimes to learn about all the evil around them. Lockdown/intruder drills are scary enough for them.