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Do You Talk To Your Kids About What They Hear in School?

Posted by on Jan. 11, 2013 at 11:17 AM
  • 11 Replies

California School Shooter's Hit List of Bullies Should Have Been on Moms' Radar Sooner

Posted by Jeanne Sager

shotgunI think it's safe to say we are all still reeling from the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, but already we have another school shooting to contend with. A student who cops say had a hit list full of bullies at Taft Union High School in California opened fired inside a classroom this week. One victim is in critical condition, and the 16-year-old is in police custody.

It's about as good an outcome as we could want from a school shooting. Everyone is alive -- thank goodness. But the stories coming out of kids from Taft Union make me wonder if we've been coming at this whole school violence issue the wrong way.

Don't get me wrong, we need to talk about gun control. How a 16-year-old got hold of a shotgun and got it into a school building is something we need to get to the bottom of -- and fast. There were 28 kids in that classroom, and every single one could have died. That's unacceptable.

But according to teens from the school, the alleged shooter talked "all the time" about shooting people. The kid was known to "[tell] people that he's gonna kill them, or skin them alive or something, or eat their puppies."

This was supposedly going on since his freshman year.

And none of the kids talked to their parents about this? None of the parents talked to the school about this? None of the school folks took it to the authorities?

Sadly, I'm not surprised. Teenagers aren't exactly known to be the most forthcoming bunch in the world -- actually, even my 7-year-old acts like it's hard work to actually tell me about her day. And we parents tend to be pretty myopic when we talk to our kids about school. We want to know how THEY are doing. After all, we're not raising the other 100 or so kids in their class.

But that's just it; we're raising our kids amidst their classmates. What's going on with them is a big part of our kids' lives. Keying in to what those kids are doing isn't being nosy; it's being aware, it's properly arming yourself to care for your own kids. 

If we want to protect our kids from school violence, we need to be proactive. Talk to your kids! Find out what's being said in the classroom. Ask about anything that could be a problem down the road. Remind them that these sorts of comments are unacceptable and need to be reported -- if not to a teacher than to you. And when you hear something, say something.

It could save a life.

Do you talk to your kids about what the other kids are saying in school?

Have you heard of kids in your district making violent comments like the alleged shooter?


by on Jan. 11, 2013 at 11:17 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Kellie on Jan. 11, 2013 at 11:29 AM
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My kids are only 9 & 7. We talk about their day when they get home from school, when I ask, and at dinner, when Dad asks.
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by guerrilla girl on Jan. 11, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Yes...absolutely. My DH is only 8 but we always talk about what is going on at school. I am trying to open up those communication lines now.

by Christy on Jan. 11, 2013 at 12:52 PM

We always talk about whatever is bothering each one of my kids. I am their sounding board. If there was someone talking of violence or suicide they would let me know.

by Member on Jan. 11, 2013 at 3:57 PM

i talk to my kids about the things that are happening in the world.. even before the shooting at the elementary school.. its sad that i have to talk about these things with my kids, but we do have to.. our kids schools were already having "perimeter lock down" drills the same frequency as fire and earthquake drills.  pretty sad state of schools but a necessary one.  we are all responsible for the kids at the schools our children attend.. its how it used to be years ago.. when towns were ACTUAL communities :( now a days no one knows their neigbors very well and that is very sad.

by Silver Member on Jan. 11, 2013 at 5:25 PM
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absolutely. The best way to sniff out if there is an issue is to talk to them every day. I also want to know what sort of things and people are influencing them when I am not around.

by Thatwoman on Jan. 11, 2013 at 7:41 PM

I think the adult game of pretending they can see and hear what kids are doing when kids are not nearby give many kids the strong impression that if there were something 'wrong' at school, the adults would deal with it --clearly, there is nothing wrong.

A lot of what happens, kids lack the language to describe or talk about or is flat-out traumatic and they can't remember it within minute of it happening. Then, by tomorrow or next week when they might be able to talk about it, there's been another (or another 10) episodes between, and it all starts to feel completely normal.

by Mahinaarangi on Jan. 12, 2013 at 3:24 AM

 Nope...never been interested in what other kids are saying or doing...

Now I trust my kids would come home and tell me of little Timmy relaying how he skinned the family cat and was going to do it to the family dog next or little Jane saying she hated the world and if she could get hold of her dads rifle she was coming to get all the little mean girls who torture her daily. ...alarms will ring.

I believe Ive taught them enough to notice out of the ordinary events /talks and we have a communication style that would have them tell me.  I do ask every school day to each of my kids..."how was your day?"

by Ruby Member on Jan. 12, 2013 at 11:33 AM
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Yea, they always did (they're adults now). Back then (they're now 33 & 30)...they did tell me about hearing that someone brought a gun to school. I went to the school the following day, asked about it. Rather than make a big scene they took the gun, handled the whole things quietly, the kid was dealt with, etc. One of my kids overheard some sad things about a classmate, I talked to the principle the next day, just to bring it to her attention to watch the kid, etc. If you make yourself a safe person to talk to, kids will tell you most anything.

by New Member on Jan. 12, 2013 at 8:21 PM

I ask my son everyday and he is 4 but he will explain every single thing that went on and who said what, i always tell him to be safe inside his school when i leave

by AllieCat on Jan. 12, 2013 at 9:55 PM

I have always been one to ask my girls if there is any thing going on at school that has caught their attention, some thing some one has said, etc.

We've always talked about the kids, what goes on, etc.  Certainly does not mean I am told every thing.  I was once a kid, I remember well.  But I am fairly certain if my 13 year old heard some one threatening others, especially more than once, she would mention it.  

It is indeed important to talk to  your kids about their days in school, the other kids, etc.

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