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Book helps children through crisis.

Byline: Emma Bird

TEACHERS in Liverpool are to be given a handbook aimed at helping children deal with the disturbing images of the US terrorist attacks.

Invisible Dimension has been produced by Liverpool City Council's senior education officer, Sylvia Brown.

She believes that violence shown on television, whether real or fictional, often has a detrimental effect on children's behaviour.

Last night, she said: "We must be concerned about what children learn when they witness violence on television, in newspapers and in the home.

"For too long, we have overlooked the effects on children. The handbook will give teachers the advice and support they need."

The council has produced 600 copies of the guide, which is to be distributed to the city's 200-plus primary and secondary schools, youth and children's workers and social services staff.

However, there are also plans for Invisible Dimensions to be made available to teachers in other parts of the country. It would cost pounds 30 per copy.

The guide also deals with domestic violence and bullying at school and how prevention can be built into the school curriculum.

It contains 80 exercises for use in the classroom to help pupils understand the effects of violence and how to avoid becoming violent themselves.

Although the guide will help teachers deal with the expected Allied attack on Afghanistan, they have already been briefed on how to help their students.

The move follows steps taken in New York, where children were more likely to know someone killed in the tragedy on September 11.

There, psychologists and leading educationalists have been quick to provide a high level of support for young people to allow them to come to terms with what has happened.

Liverpool City Council began developing its strategy on violence and destruction in the wake of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in the American state of Colorado.

Teachers were told then that children probably knew more than adults might expect and should be encouraged to share their feelings of anger or fear.

Coun Paul Clein, executive member for education and lifelong learning, said:

"Schools have a vital role to play in helping prevent violence and bullying.

"This initiative will help children learn the alternatives to violence."
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 26, 2001
Words:369
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