BECKLEY, WV (WVNS)– The school shootings in Texas caused fear and anxiety for students everywhere, but local experts tell 59News that families and schools can make a difference.

Experts often warn parents not to let young children watch R-rated movies and to make sure they play age-appropriate video games. But what can parents and communities do when the real-life images on social media and TV are more violent than anything make-believe? Parents may feel helpless when kids ask questions about the children and teachers who were murdered inside of their school, but mental health experts say that it is very important to discuss the events with kids.

“Pretending just like don’t say anything in front of the child because it’s going to affect them negatively. It has already affected them negatively so you cannot do any more harm,” said psychiatrist Dr. Ahmad Faheem.

Dr. Faheem said the Texas shooting can have a traumatic effect. Some kids may have trouble going to sleep, and some may be scared to go to school or to even leave the house.  Dr. Faheem added parents and grandparents should listen to their kids’ fears. 

“The main key is being there for them giving them an opportunity to talk, a lot of hugging and a lot of loving and a lot of kissing has to happen,” said Dr. Farheem.

Officials with the Raleigh County school district tell us school counselors are coming to school with a plan for supporting students who are upset about the deaths of other children and teachers. 

“If students come in and they’re questioning what happened or if the student needs to talk then the counselor needs to validate their feelings you know empathize with them, assure them that our schools are safe,” said Raleigh County Schools Counselling Supervisor Frankie Cappellari.

Dr. Faheem says that parents, teachers, and counselors all play a role in helping children heal.