Hard Conversations

How to Cope with Fears About School Safety

By: Highlights Editorial
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1 minute to read
For All Ages
Social Emotional

Last week in Texas, and this weekend in Ohio, parents received startling emails from their schools informing them of a threat made by someone claiming to be a Russian terrorist organization to plant bombs in U.S. schools, including theirs. The FBI and other law enforcement agencies have deemed these threats to be not credible.

Yet, in parenting group chats and on social media, some parents and grandparents expressed anxiety about sending their kids to school. In a local parenting group in Delaware, Ohio, one parent wrote, “Ugh I'm not sure what to do.. I feel like they should've cancelled classes until they finished the investigation.” A worried grandmother said, “I am worried to death! Idk what to do. My granddaughter is my whole world!! I'm worried about getting in trouble for her attendance if I don't send her. How long should she not go too?”

After years of pandemic disruption and high profile shootings in schools, it is no wonder that many are on edge about the safety of the children we love. And, we also know from the letters that Highlights receives from kids that they are watching us and picking up on our feelings.

After years of disrupted learning, we also know how important it is to kids’ mental health, their friendships, and their learning that they attend school regularly. How are you handling your fears these days to help your kids manage theirs? Here are a few answers from other parents:

  • "My grandson’s school communicates with us so often and clearly, so we always feel in the loop about any safety measures being taken. It helps me trust that everyone is doing their best to keep us safe," says a grandmother in Texas.
  • "We can't control everything, but we can control how we respond. I know I feel better when I feel strong, so I focus a lot on nutrition and getting enough exercise – it just helps my coping skills," says a dad in Maryland.
  • “Just like I ask my kids to do, I control the time I spend doomscrolling,” says a mom in Indiana.

How are you managing your feelings about school safety?

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By: Highlights Editorial