Threats Should Be Taken Seriously

Your child comes home and announces that "Johnny" said he was going to bring a gun to school. Do you discuss it with your child further, then ask her to tell you if "Johnny" makes any more threats? Or do you call the school, "Johnny's" parents and the police? In today's world, is it possible to overreact in this situation?

Parent Soup, one of the largest parenting sites on the Web and America Online, recently asked parents how they would handle a situation like this. Of the 231 parents polled, 89.17 percent said they would feel obligated to alert the school principal, the child's parents and the police. The remaining votes included 9.95 percent who would ask their child to report any more talk of guns and 0.86 percent who would do nothing (based on the assumption that the child was only joking).

cher062 said, "I have trained my child in weapon safety, and [his] Grandpa [will] teach him shooting skills. But I have always told him to come to a teacher and us if anyone (child or adult) he knows carries a weapon of any type."

sewchris703 responded, "I live in San Diego North County, not very far from the shooting incident. The school prior to the shooting counseled the child who did the shooting. He had none of the signs of a teen who would bring a gun to school and use it. He had friends, he was not considered to be an outcast or a loner, and he wasn't neglected or abused by his family. He was just an average teen, which makes it worse [because] there is nothing to point to as a reason for his actions. I have no answers."

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