GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A doctor visited Tanglewood Middle School Tuesday evening to share information on how to support children following a school-related crisis.

On March 31, a 12-year-old shot and killed 12-year-old Jamari Cortez Bonaparte Jackson in the 700 wing of Tanglewood Middle School.

Dr. David Schonfeld from the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement will host an in-person and online meeting at 6:00 p.m. to outline some of the common reactions that children have following a crisis. He will also share some productive ways to support children as they experience a range of reactions.

“The presentation this evening for the parents and caregivers and family members, is for them to understand a little bit more about what their kids are going through, but what are some practical suggestions of what can they do to try to provide support and assistance,” Schonfeld said. “Part of it is that they need to open up conversation,” he said.

Dr. Schonfeld has years of experience supporting families and schools in crisis.

“I also see the recovery and I stay with schools over time and I see them when they’ve gotten past the acute distress and they’ve started to cope with it and that feels very gratifying, and so I think people need to be able to take the longer term perspective,” Schonfeld said. “Of course you have to worry about the acute needs and what do people need right now, and yes we see their distress and their sadness and their discomfort, but I actually know there’s stuff past that, and so I feel like if I can help people get to that, it’s really a great opportunity,” he said.

“I think what we want students to feel is that they should talk with trusted adults about what’s important to them, because that is what makes them trusted adults. That’s why they are there,” Schonfeld said.

“You’re forever changed by these events these events. Good things and bad things, but it doesn’t mean you’re forever damaged and some people emerge with coping and resiliency skills, new sense of spirituality and a different purpose in life,” Schonfeld said.

“I think part of it is to help people understand that if they’re having reactions, it’s understandable and they are– most of them manageable and for those who need more help, they should seek it, and accept it,” Schonfeld said. “I always try to tell people, please don’t try to figure out if this is normal or abnormal, do I actually need counseling, if it’s going to help you, just accept it,” he said.

Superintendent Dr. Burke Royster said they wanted to bring in a highly trained professional to help all students, faculty and parents.

“How can we work together to help students, to help the faculty and to help the community move through this process. Not to get over it, I don’t think there is a getting over a tragedy like this, but you move through that tragedy and I think the information that he shared today with faculty and staff, what he will share tonight with parents, what he shares with your viewers, about listening…I think that advice probably goes not just for the young people involved in, but for the adults involved in it too, to make sure that we’re listening, make sure they’re aware we’re there to listen–that we’re there for them, even if they don’t necessarily want to say anything at that particular point,” Dr. Royster said. “to be a reassuring presence in their lives. Again, whether it’s the student or the community that’s been affected or faculty or staff. So, that’s why we looked to outside resources–any resources,” Dr. Royster said.

Dr. Royster said they’ve used internal resources since the shooting.

“We’ve used considerable internal resources here at Tanglewood since this tragedy occurred. We’ve had members of our aftercare team available here on a daily bases since it occurred. We’ve had additional personnel here to support the administration, to support the teachers and the staff in the school to help ease the burden of their daily routine, so that they can focus on helping students move through the process,” Dr. Royster said.

It’s been nearly five weeks since the shooting happened. Dr. Royster said people are still processing the tragedy.

“I’ve been over here fairly often during that period of time. I believe they’re progressing. Now again, you’re not going to be over this, but you see signs of return to routine and I believe people are progressing, but that doesn’t mean that some days may be more challenging for some people than other days are and I think that’s going to continue, that’s really so much of an individual thing. It is so difficult to predict for how long that will occur,” Dr. Royster said. “This was a life altering event for the people here and for the people responding to it, as well, and how each person will ultimately deal with that, over time, is going to be as different as the individuals involved in it,” he said.

Dr. Royster said they will continue to provide ongoing support.

“There will be an ongoing, yet to be determined exactly what that will look like, but we’ve already discussed and discussed with the administration of the school and we’re also soliciting input from the faculty and staff as we move forward–what will the summer look like. We run summer programs routinely, but we’re likely going to run a little more intensive summer programs here this summer, and what will it look like coming into next fall,” Dr. Royster said.

The suspect in the shooting, was captured hiding under the deck of a house in the 3000 block of Old Easley Bridge Road. He has been charged with murder and other weapon charges.

A waiver has been submitted for the suspect to be tried as an adult, according to the Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

Dr. Schonfield has over 30 years of experience supporting families and schools following events such as Sandy Hook Elementary and Townville Elementary.