In fact, few teachers who witness school violence are offered counseling, said Edward Mooney, a California high school teacher and Northeastern University doctoral student who studies the effect of school violence on teachers.
After disturbing events such as a shooting, many teachers struggle with post-traumatic stress. It can be disabling, and made worse by administrators who want to move on, avoid the topic, “basically the treatment of ‘You’ll get over it,’ ” Mooney said.
Mooney has taught for more than 20 years, and with every tale of teachers’ heroism – whether Moore, Newtown or events that hardly make national news – he worries about how few resources exist for them.
“The teacher feels overwhelming anguish. Those are empathetic, compassionate people,” Mooney said. As he wrote his dissertation, he thought of his own colleagues and especially his students. “‘What if it happened to him? Or her?’ That would shatter me.”