MMGuardian will alert parents of potentially harmful situations based on the content of their child’s monitored messages. This page provides recommended actions for the alert type indicated above.
In the US, school shootings and other threats of violence are an unfortunately reality. While there is debate about how to reduce these tragedies, something everyone can agree on is that parents need to stay vigilant to protect their child and others. Children can also experience severe anxiety
1. Be Aware of the Signs
The University of South Florida released a list of warning signs related to school shooters. You can find the list here:
There are lots of other articles on the subject. Education and awareness are two of the biggest keys to preventing shootings.
One stat from the US Secret Service stated: “More than 75% of attackers initiated their attack after an incident with someone at school, and they were mostly between 7th and 12th grade“. This shows how important it is to also stay on top of any bullying or similar situations involving conflict between children.
2. Report Suspicious or Violent Behavior to the Police / Authorities
Any threat of violence, even online, is illegal in most countries. If you have received an alert message regarding a threat of violence, your goal here is to assure that your child or someone else’s is safe from harm.
First, take a picture of the threat made and print a hard copy. Then, notify the authorities regarding the threat. This may include the police department, school, a coach or affiliated organization, and/or any other necessary person that could be involved. The police department may want to interview your child. The school may do so as well.
When letting your child know that you have received an alert regarding violence make sure that there is an understanding that this must be reported because it is necessary to assure their safety. Reassure them that they are not going to lose their cell phone or device. If your child has used some inflammatory or argumentative language, which may have brought on the threat, it may be important to review appropriate communication on-line. Regardless, the threat of violence is never acceptable and needs to be addressed.
3. If You Suspect Your Child Might Have Violence Issues
Get help for your child by having them speak to a mental health professional. Parents need to be sure they are open and emotionally available for their child, but when it comes to drastic scenarios like this, most parents are not optimally equipped to deal with the situation.
4. If Your Child Has Anxiety About Violence
Communicate with your child about why they’re having the anxiety. In many cases, the anxiety is caused by rumors or other types of misinformation spread by kids in schools. Provide them with facts and discuss plans for emergencies to give them a sense of security.
It is suggested that until the threat of violence has been addressed and resolved, precautions may be necessary. For example, if your child normally walks home from school and another person was threatening them, it may be necessary to make sure they have alternative means to get home. It is also suggested that the person or person(s) involved be blocked on your child’s devices. Threats of violence can result in significant anxiety that can significantly impact your child’s life. If your child seems excessively afraid or anxious, it may be necessary for them to receive therapeutic support.