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School Threats: Do Your Students Understand the Seriousness?

School Threats: Do Your Students Understand the Seriousness?

Gone are the days of making threats at school without repercussions. How are you teaching your students about the gravity of this topic?

All too often, we hear in the media of yet another school locked down due to a student who has threatened violence. Sadly I don't see this ending anytime soon, so it is important for both educators and families to talk frankly with their students about the ramifications that can occur from making any kind of violent threat against others.

We can no longer simply scold a child who makes a threatening statement and move on; those days are long gone. Because of the number of school shootings nationwide, every single threat--no matter how innocuous it might seem--has to been taken as truth and dealt with swiftly. One of school staff's top priorities is ensuring the safety of every student and staff member on their campuses. Therefore, schools have no choice but to address each threat, no matter how idle it may seem. Equally as important, though, is educating them about the impact their words can have.

Sadly, many times students are just joking around and don't realize the short- and long-term effects that more than likely will occur because of their action. Likewise, families don't always know how to talk about this issue with their children. Thankfully, though, resources abound to help educators and families discuss this critical topic with children of all ages. Including school threats should be part of a well-rounded digital citizenship education, so when you talk to students about the things they post online, text to their friends or even state in person, make sure you are discussing the seriousness of threats of violence.

Below are some helpful links to use in developing your digital citizenship curriculum. We also offer student training in this area, so if you would like us to come out and talk with your students, just let us know.

Sarah Julian

Director, Communications

Sarah serves as the Director of Communications for the OPSRC. In this role, she provides support, consultation and training on a variety of critical tools and PR functions, including communication plans, social media policies, crisis communications, media relations and website content.

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