OSEA Safety Blog

Staying Informed

Monday, April 2, 2018 Michele Pratt

It seems like every time you turn on the news you hear about a school shooting or a threat made to a school. I found myself in this situation as a parent with both scenarios within 2 weeks of each other. I wanted to take the time to do some research and to inform others about what my experience was like and what may help your family get through a similar situation.

The morning my son was due to leave his campus for Spring break, an active shooter was reported on campus. I tried to contact him via text and received no response. I didn’t panic – it was before 11am and either he was sleeping or his phone didn’t have battery. While waiting for a response from him, my husband and I did some research as to what was really happening. We looked for reliable news sources and credible sources on campus that carried the press conferences the school held on the active shooter. News sources will report but put their own spin on it. If you are looking for information on Social Media make sure the source is verified and credible. Many uninformed people always seem to add their two cents and can be mistaken as credible yet what they are reporting is pure speculation. In discovering where the initial shooting had occurred and later finding out that the situation was a student who shot his parents in his dorm room this wasn’t a random act of violence. It was still alarming that the school was in lockdown and the shooter was not captured for several hours. The FBI also searched my son’s fraternity house as they were canvassing the area. The situation ended with the suspect in custody.

My daughter’s high school had an alleged threat against their school. The school communicated with parents via email and phone calls. I texted my daughter and she knew the boy who made the threat and didn’t seem overly concerned. She didn’t feel staying home from school was going to accomplish anything.

In both of theses situations I didn’t panic, I became as informed as I could through credible sources. trusted in the process that the administration and law enforcement was handling the situation as they have been trained to do – they are the experts.

In summary, if you and your family find yourself in a similar situation, communicate, stay informed, don’t panic and trust in the system.

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