It doesn't matter how well you eat, how much you exercise or how good your health insurance is if you can't eat or sleep for fear of sending the kids to school. Another lone gunman has managed to elevate the fears of teachers, students, school employees and parents.
Michael Brandon Hill slipped inside the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy Tuesday with guns and ammunition, ready to go down fighting. The school houses per-kindergarten through fifth grade. Although no one was injured, the traumatic stress of the event can be detrimental to the health.
Every time a gunman or group of people with intent to kill or harm gains access to the inside of a school, the school's safety policy should be re-examined. The only way for people to have peace when their children are in school is to attend school with them. Other than that, follow the tips below.
- If you are affected by violence inside the school, find someone who will listen and talk through the fears.
- Be the listener. Realize that the person may relay the events over and over again. That's okay, they need to do this. Just listen.
- The world has forever changed. It is okay to teach children about staying safe at school. Teach children how to make themselves small and not draw attention to themselves.
- Role-play with children. Set up a room to resemble a class of students and ask children what they would do to make themselves small. Talk about things that draw attention, such as crying, screaming or talking.
- Visit your child's school to see what type of security is in place for adults entering the building.
- Attend school board meetings to address better ways of keeping the children safe.
- Teach children to always report anyone who acts suspiciously.
- Teach children not to bully. The ones who are bullied are the ones who come back with weapons.
- Teach children to report bullies. They may save lives.
- Teach children not to treat each other with disdain or say mean-spirited, hurtful things to anyone.
It is impossible to put things back into Pandora's Box. There will always be school shooters now that it has become vogue. However, there are close to 300,000 schools in the US. One the average day, a student faces an average day, not a shooter.
For better health, don't keep silent about the trauma of school violence. Tell someone. Keep telling until someone listens. And, remember, there are close to 300,000 schools in the US. The likelihood that a gunman will walk into your child's school is scarce to none.