Tragedy struck yesterday in Parkland, Florida when 17 people were murdered by a psychopath as they attempted to enjoy their school day. As a parent hearing stories like this, it can be hard to send your child in to school the next day. The best we can do for our kids is to prepare for the sad reality that someday they may experience a situation like this.
It isn’t easy to imagine that the school your child attends every day could turn into a dangerous place. No parent wants to imagine willingly sending their children into harm’s way. But reality is harsh. Children face a wide variety of violence at school. The gamut runs from teasing to bullying to physical abuse and occasionally even violence perpetrated with bombs or firearms.
The question every time America is faced with violence at schools is, “what should be done about it?” There are myriad ways schools, police forces, and governments can better protect children, but it’s up to parents to talk to their kids about violence at school.
Your child or grandchild shouldn’t have to face any abuse or violence at school, and the first step to saving them from abuse is letting them know it’s not OK, and that, even as small as they are, they can have an impact on their own safety. Teach your child to think and act for themselves.
But how do you prepare your child for a shooter? The Department of Homeland Security recommends the Run, Hide, Fight strategy. The plan has many critics, but despite that, it’s easy for kids to remember and it’s a great place to start. The plan breaks down like this: