Jessica M Hayes; MSW, LCSW
Even as a licensed therapist, I often grapple with addressing significant life matters and effectively communicating weighty subjects to my own kiddos (after all, no one gives you an instruction manual before bringing them home after they are born!). Recently, I engaged in a conversation with my own children after an incident at their school regarding the appropriate actions to take in the event of a potential threat at school. Recognizing the importance of being proactive, I wanted to offer a comprehensive script, designed to assist fellow parents who may be facing challenges in articulating similar discussions with their children. Hang in there fellow parents, we got this!
"Hey! I want to talk to you about something important, staying safe at school. Sometimes, people may make bad choices, and it's our job to be prepared. Your teachers and school staff are there to keep you safe, and they practice drills to know what to do in case of an emergency.
It's important to listen to your teachers during drills and follow their instructions carefully. If you ever hear or see something that makes you uncomfortable, don't hesitate to tell a teacher or another trusted adult.
Let's talk about gun safety. Guns and other weapons are not toys, and they should only be handled by responsible adults. If you ever come across a gun or weapon, at school, a friend's house, or anywhere else, remember these three rules: Stop, Don't Touch, and Tell an adult immediately.
We're talking about this because I want you to feel safe and know what to do. If you have any questions or if something is on your mind, please feel free to share it with me. I'm here for you, I love you and your safety is my top priority."