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Best Practices

Best Practices: Quick Reference


Not Recommended

Use “Together Highland Park Unidos.”

Avoid using “Fuerza Highland Park Strong.”

Use “Highland Park shooting.”

Avoid “July 4 shooting,” “July 4 parade shooting,” or other terms that connect the incident to the holiday.

Refer to the passage of time without emotional language.

Avoid creating “anniversaries” by unduly investing emotional time and effort into dates; keep emotions focused on people.

Recognize that individuals have unique experiences of the same event, which they will process in different ways.

Avoid words or phrases that set expectations for how someone is doing or how they “should be” doing.

Understand that the response to news/information and whether (and how) to engage is up to each individual person.

Don’t share content related to the shooting, investigation, or court proceedings without a content warning.

Use words that emphasize that everyone is on a different path. Avoid phrases that are unnecessarily emotional. Keep reading for a list of phrases to swap for common but problematic sayings.

Don’t assume everyone is in a position to discuss the shooting, especially individuals in service professions (such as stylists) where they may frequently hear from multiple people about their experiences of trauma.

Check in with friends or family to see if they have the bandwidth to discuss the shooting or any emotional, weighty, or traumatizing topic.

Avoid jumping into conversations about the shooting without giving others a heads up. Avoid discussing these topics with casual acquaintances or captive audiences (such as hair stylists.)

Manage media consumption and take breaks if needed. 

Don’t feel compelled to share or engage with these topics even if your friend group is doing so.