MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A number of Mid-South children are often exposed to deadly gun violence. School teachers and counselors are on the front lines helping the children cope with the tragedy.
A Shelby County Schools counselor turned author has come up with a unique approach to help students. It’s a book titled “Someone I Love Got Shot.”
Dealing with gun violence can be tough for anyone, but for children it can be particularly difficult.
It’s why Elementary school counselor Pearl Bradley wrote the children’s book. To help children navigate the emotions tied to losing someone they know to gun violence.
“They act out, they withdraw, there’s a fear of being a victim of gun violence themselves, they don’t know if it may or may not happen to them,” said Bradley.
The sheer number of gun violence incidents in the U.S. has increased over the years according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There were nearly 40,000 gun deaths in the U.S. in 2017. Here in Memphis there have been 133 murders the first three quarters of this year.
“Sadly you’ll go in some of these communities and kids sit there and watch as they body lay, that’s how I was as a teen, I stayed there until they came and put the body in the bag,” said Charlie Caswell.
Before Caswell turned 18, he had already witnessed two people being shot. Today he travels the country teaching others about the trauma surrounding violence children are particularly susceptible.
“You start with letting them know that’s not normal, right this is not a normal behavior you have seen and tell them what normal looks like,” said Caswell.
Caswell says it's all about starting a conversation.
Bradley hopes her book which includes a place to color and journal about your feelings can start the healing.