School Memorials

Posted on October 28, 2013, in Separation and Loss

The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children regularly receives calls from school personnel asking about in-school memori - als, memorial services, and memorial practices in schools. Consensus indicates that these memorials are not appropriate when associated with suicide. Beyond this one area of agreement, there are a variety of opinions on memorials for those who have died. Practices are varied and do not always consider the long-term difficulties “in school” memorials can create for students as well as for administrators. This commentary discusses these possible long-term problems, examines the poten - tial traumatic aspects of the ongoing reminders that school memorials can represent for some, and follows with recommendations regarding perma - nent memorials and memorial services practices.

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