Are we as Americans doing everything we can to protect our children? A chilling new study suggests that, when it comes to school safety, we are not. There is a rising epidemic of school shootings and we must teach our children how to deal with this situation.
According to the organization Everytown for Gun Safety, there have been 74 school shootings in America since the tragic December 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Because of these gun-related events 28 people have died, 37 people have been injured, and countless numbers of children and adults have been affected emotionally. In fact, a study from the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder found that up to 77 percent of students who directly witnessed this type of violence experience PTSD.
When Richard Martinez first addressed the public after his son, Christopher Michaels-Martinez, was shot by in the University of California, Santa Barbara shooting he said that his goal was now to make sure that “not one more” child was lost to this violence. This desire to take action is common among parents, students, and government officials alike. However, there is disagreement on how this goal can be achieved.
Let’s End Gun Violence in Schools
If you are concerned about the epidemic of school shootings and would like to make a difference consider the suggestions listed below.
Talk to Your Kids
Due to constant media coverage, school shootings can even cause psychological harm to kids who are not directly related. Talking to your kids can lower their risk of trauma. It’s important to reassure them, while still being honest. Be sure to ask if they have any questions so that you can address their concerns.
Put a Stop to Bullying
In recent years organizations and people have gathered together to put a stop to bullying. This is crucial as bullying can have devastating consequences on the teased child and other children as well. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and their Stop Bullying website, in 12 of 15 school shooting cases in the 1990s, the shooters had a history of being bullied. Learn how to mindfully reduce bullying at your child’s school here.
Support Teachers and Guidance Counselors
Mental health problems have played a large part in many school shootings. It’s more important than ever that we invest in our local mental health services. Unfortunately, budget cuts have impacted schools across the country, which means that there are fewer social workers, psychologists, and guidance counselors available to help troubled students. To help your local school and support teachers and counselors consider these parent resources.