Confronting Death In the School Family

Guidelines and Tools for Adding a Tragedy Component to Your Crisis Response Team

Includes Digital Resources!

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SKU: A133-Net

The death of a student or staff member can devastate a school and its surrounding community. Are you prepared?

Often these tragedies occur with little or no warning, which means school administrators are left with little or no time to come to terms with the tragedy before they are forced to make decisions that affect the entire community. By developing a tragedy component to your crisis response team, Confronting Death in the School Family will help you respond to any and every tragedy in a consistent and compassionate manner.

Confronting Death in the School Family will provide you with:

  • step-by-step proven guidelines and procedures for responding to real-life tragic situations
  • samples of announcements (family, school, media, etc.)
  • comprehensive classroom plans
  • ready-made forms and worksheets for parents and teachers

The keys to successfully establishing a sound tragedy component to your Crisis Response Team are organization, preparation, and planing. Confronting Death in the School Family will give you the tools necessary to handle the most tragic of situations.

Written by David A. Opalewski
Paperback ISBN 9781931636360
Grades K-12
152 pages
Release Date March 1, 2007

Additional information






National Center for Youth Issues

David Opalewski, M.A. is the founder and president of Grief Recovery, Inc., in Saginaw, Michigan. He is an author, consultant, and a widely sought-after conference speaker and trainer for the tragedy component of school crisis teams across the country.

David has a forty-four-year career in education. He has taught at the elementary, middle, high school, and college levels and was an at-risk counselor for eight of those years. During Opalewski’s educational career, he experienced the combined deaths of twenty-six students and fellow staff
members. He was a replacement teacher in a fifth-grade classroom for a teacher who was killed in an auto accident during the middle of the school year.

He retired from Central Michigan University in May of 2017 as Professor Emeritus. David worked part time for three years in a funeral home as an aftercare consultant to the families of the deceased.

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