Active Shooters: What Every Parent Should Ask Their Child’s School

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Disclaimer: The goal of Conquer with Na’Kole is to provide education and support for moms (and concerned loved ones) as they conquer the giants that seek to conquer their children. I, Na’Kole Watson, am not a licensed mental health professional nor am I offering professional mental health services or advice. Therefore, I accept no liability or responsibility to anyone as a result of any reliance upon the information produced on this site or in any communication issued by Na’Kole Watson and Conquer with Na’Kole. The views expressed on this and any other affiliated website are my own, and all sources are linked. If you are in crisis, please contact The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. If this is an emergency, please dial 911 immediately.

 

In September of 2021, there were 55 instances of school violence.

You read that right. Fifty-five.

School violence is on the rise, and thanks to the polorization of almost everything, it doesn’t appear that it will be letting up any time soon.

This is something you may not want to talk to your tween/teen about, but I’m telling you now – it’s not going to get any better any time soon, and they need to hear from YOU.

Tweens and teens see violence happening, and many of their friends make uninformed statements based on their limited view of how things work in the world. This could cause your child unnecessary anxiety and have them going down rabbit holes of misinformation… right there on their phones… right under your nose.

Your child needs to hear your voice telling them that you are doing all you can to keep them safe in this world.

Not only does your child need to hear from you, but your school needs to hear from you as well.

Here are some things I recommend for being prepared to respond to school violence. Prevention is ALWAYS the goal – make no mistake about that, but we also need to make sure that we have a solid strategy in place just in case the unthinkable happens.

The Active Shooter Preparedness Guide

What every parent should do to give their child a fighting chance in the time of an active shooter crisis

Questions To Ask Yourself

  • Am I signed up for alerts from my child’s school?
  • Do I have a good idea of how the building is laid out?
      • If not, do I have access to the evacuation plan for the school?
  • Does my child have my phone number memorized?
  • What if your child only has access to someone else’s phone? Would they be able to contact you?
  • Can you put your phone number on your child’s folder, in their backpack or somewhere they can easily access it (if they are too young or not able to memorize it)?

 

Questions to Ask the School

  • Is there an active shooter response plan available for download/print?
  • In the event of an active shooter, exactly where would my child be locked down and/or evacuated to?
  • Does my child have access to their cell phone during school? (If there are multiple teachers, please ask each teacher this question. You need to know if your child’s phone is accessible to them in a time of crisis.)
  • Do you have active shooter drills? (Studies show that these are very traumatic for children – it is important to know if they happen at your child’s school and if so, how the school carries them out.)
  • What number can I call besides 911 in the time of a crisis? Are there other emergency services numbers that service the area? (If the school does not know this, please research this on your own.)

 

Articles and Resources

The Conquer with Na’Kole way is to always give you more than enough resources to help you along your parenting journey. Here are some amazing articles and resources to help you prepare and talk to your child(ren)!

Homeland Security Active Shooter Preparedness Info

https://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/active_shooter_booklet.pdf

PurePower34 TikTok Videos about Active Shooters

Video 1: Active Shooter: For Students and Teachers

https://www.tiktok.com/@purepower34/video/7001119164006026501

Video 2: Active Shooter: Students’ Response

https://www.tiktok.com/@purepower34/video/7007049171047828741

Anxiety Over School Shootings: Child Mind Institute – ChildMind.org

https://childmind.org/article/anxiety-school-shooting/

School Shootings Nearly Double as Students Return From Remote Learning – Newsweek

https://www.newsweek.com/school-shootings-nearly-double-students-return-remote-learning-1634858

Active shooter drills are meant to prepare students. But research finds ‘severe’ side effects.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/active-shooter-drills-are-meant-prepare-students-research-finds-severe-n1239103

Sesame Street in Communities: Violence (for younger kids)

https://sesamestreetincommunities.org/topics/violence/

 

Final Thoughts

We are living in scary times. Full stop. And I don’t know when it’ll be over, and what “over” will even look like. What I do know, however, is that I’ll be right here with you, helping you navigate all of the troubled waters.

Be sure to stay connected so that you don’t miss out on any information, inspiration and education!

Let’s Conquer Together,

Na’Kole

 

By the way, if you would like to access a copy of The Active Shooter Preparedness Guide, click here!

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