Local News


High-profile school threats, what may be driving them

Posted at 11:24 PM, Mar 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-03 16:36:35-05

Five Clark County students have been arrested since the Florida high school attack for making threats against schools or bringing guns to campus.

Parents are obviously on edge, but experts say there are two reasons a student may bring a gun to school, and only one of them is sinister.

"If these kids are taking these guns to make idle threats or just to be seen, this a serious problem.  We are now looking at kids who are communicating through weaponry," Beth Creel, a grief recovery specialist at Children's Heart Center said.

Creel said some students who bring weapons to school might do so to protect themselves if they are afraid of an attack, but add either way parents must react the same way.

"We have to investigate what is going on with our kids," Creel said.

If they are afraid to be on campus, Creel advises parents talk to their child's school to see what can be done to make them feel safer.

When it comes to students making threats, either real or fake, Creel said it is a sign of a bigger problem.

"A mentally healthy person isn't doing this.  So maybe we are dealing with a child that is depressed.  Maybe we are dealing with a child who is dealing with some anxiety," Creel said.

The key to stopping the problem before it reaches the stage where it could have a lifelong impact on a student's life according to Creel is regular conversations.

"I think parents nowadays are sometimes a little afraid to broach that subject," said Creel. "I think sometimes there is a different side, a darker side, and they don't know how to handle it."

The key to those conversations is to have them face to face.

Creel said that would allow parents to read body language and recognize when children may be masking their true emotions.

She said it could also help to make sure children know of other adults they can talk to if they aren't comfortable talking to their parents.