It seems like school violence is getting worse, but statistics show that the chance of a child being killed in an incident of school violence is around one in a million. In fact, a child is 50 times more likely to encounter a violent death outside of school. These are pretty compelling statistics, but parents still worry about their children’s safety at school. Parents perceive incidences of school violence to be much more common than they actually are, simply because of the attention the media gives to the issue. School violence is terrible and deserves to be covered, but parents should not allow themselves become paralyzed with the thought of losing their child to school violence. Preparation and planning are always better than fear.

Families all over the United States plan for various natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes, yet few families plan their reaction to an incidence of violence. Explaining to children what they should do if something violent were to happen at their school is a great way for parents to feel more comfortable about leaving their children at school. While nervousness about the issue is understandable, it should not be all consuming. Addressing the issue head on is a great way to calm a parent’s anxious nerves.

In the rare event that violence does breakout at your child’s school, it will be better to have some kind of plan in place than none at all. For parents, coming up with a personal plan for this type of issue will be difficult, since various law enforcement agencies will be directing rescue efforts. The policies of each agency will differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so parents are advised to listen to the authorities and keep their eyes on LOCAL news broadcasts for information on how to be reunited with their children.

For children trapped in a school where violence has occurred, advise them to:

--Stay calm. Maintaining regular breathing will help. It may be tough at first, but it will help. Calculated and calm decision making is always better than random and chaotic decision making.

--Always listen to the teacher. Teachers receive special training for these types of incidences. They should be listened to at all times.

--If a child is separated from their teacher or other school staff, advise the child to stay put, wherever they are. While this may sound morbid, many survivors of school violence reported that playing dead kept them alive.

School violence is never a nice topic to discuss, but it is one that is important to any parent with children still in school, whether they are in kindergarten or college. Despite what the media portrays, schools are one of the safest places for children to be, even safer than their own homes. A school violence reaction plan is one of those things that parents will be glad to have if they ever need it, even though they may never use it.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Marshall J. Littman is a San Diego Pediatrician who has been in practice for 35 years. He is also a member of Children's Physicians Medical Group.