Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What if the next school shooting is at my school?

Even though it can feel like the news is filled with reports of school shootings and other violence, school-related violence is actually lower than in previous years. Statistically, school is the safest place for children to be.

Even if your child doesn’t bring the subject up, it’s important to talk to your child about school violence and listen to his or her thoughts and concerns on the issues.

Teens are aware of social issues so talk with them about bigger issues, like gun control and what they can do to help keep their school safe.
·    It is okay to express fear at what has happened and compassion for the students and families involved in these horrors.
·    Explain that there is a difference between “being different” from other students and having sever problems that lead to extreme violence.
·    Make sure your child understands how important it is to let you or another adult know if he or she hears another child threatening violence.
·    Talk about what it might feel like to be an outcast at school and find out if your teen is having trouble fitting in.
·    Talk with your kids about constructive solving problem; help them to find appropriate solutions to problems without using violence.

Source:  A survival guide for parents of teenagers: What if the next school shooting is at my school? University of Minnesota Extension

For more information:
National School Safety Center:  www.schoolsafety.us
National Crime Prevention Council:  www.ncpc.org/

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