Kids: How to stay safe at school.

There is no doubt in my mind that by now all of you have heard about the shooting at an Oregon Community College, so I know school violence must be on your minds. It's on mine, too. 

Violence is identified as any behavior that uses physical force to hurt or kill.  The only difference between someone pushing you, a friend, or someone you don't even know up against the wall and a shooter who shows up at school is the extent of the violence. So what can you do, or should you do, to keep yourself safe at school? 

  • First and foremost, talk with your parents. This post is not written to take their place, but to give you a few ideas to start the discussion. 

  • Second, choose your friends wisely. I know you hear that from your parents, but it is true. If you want to be safe, stay away from kids who are openly aggressive, always angry, the ones on drugs, and any kid that your "Kid Safe Radar" says to avoid. (Your Kid Safe Radar is that little warning bell that goes off in your head with some people that makes you get a creepy feeling--trust your instincts)

  • Third, assume the worst whenever you hear loud noises or voices in the hallway, outside, or in another classroom. This includes yelling, arguing, banging of furniture or doors, and "popping" sounds like firecrackers. This is where your Kid Safe Radar comes into play. Alert your teacher at once!

  • Fourth, report any thing you hear or see about a gun at school, a bomb threat, or another student talking about committing an act of violence immediately. 

  • Fifth, know what your school lock-down procedures are, and ask your teacher to explain them to the class. A school lock down occurs when there is a threat in or outside of the school. It requires all kids to be locked into their classroom, window shades pulled, lights off, and students gathered in a safe area away from the doors and windows. 

  • Sixth, if there is a lock-down or the possibility of a shooter at your school, do not use your cell phone to call 9-1-1. The 9-1-1 lines will be jammed, and your call will just make it worse. If you need to let your parents know you are alright, text them. A text will go through before a call will. When things settle down and you get the okay from your teacher, then you can call.

  • Finally for you high school students, if you are caught outside the classroom or on your own when you hear or see a shooter on campus--RUN to a safe place and HIDE until a trusted adult or a police officer tells you it is safe. Stay calm. Stay quiet. Make sure no one can see you (Remember, if you can see the bad guy, he/she can see you) 

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