Magazine article Work & Family Life

'What If My Child Encounters a Weapon at School?'

Magazine article Work & Family Life

'What If My Child Encounters a Weapon at School?'

Article excerpt

Q There was an incident with a gun at my daughter's high school. No one was hurt but it was still scary. What should I tell my child to do if she encounters a weapon at school?

-N.B., Tampa, FL

A Author-psychologist Dr. Ken Druck, a national authority on school violence, encourages parents to give their kids the following advice-and, at the same time, to work closely with the school to make sure it doesn't happen again:

Don't do anything to put yourself in danger, such as taking matters into your own hands. Do go to a phone or to someone in authority ASAP. Be specific and report the details.

Don't go around telling your friends. Word may get back to the person with the weapon that you've been talking about him/her. Do talk about it only to the authorities. They'll know how to handle the situation.

Don't ignore, minimize or deny the danger of someone having a weapon. "It's OK, he's not going to hurt anyone," is a cop-out. Do take responsibility for making your neighborhood and school safer by taking safe action.

Don't antagonize the person carrying the weapon or try to take it away from him/her. …

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