There’s no easy way to say that there’s been a ton of devastating events in America, with 18 School Shootings since January 1.
In the age of social media, it’s not hard to see where some of the problems lie in regards to status updates of mental health, who owns guns (that post them on Facebook) and more.
It’s not an easy feat, but now more than ever, we as Americans have to practice the thought process of “See Something, Say Something.”
While the recent incident had been executed by a student that had already been expelled for unspecified disciplinary reasons according to CNN, it has been shared that the student posted many things on social media leading up to this event that could have prevented this mass shooting incident. It is also rumored that this student was reported to the FBI before the incident occurred.
Applying this into daily life, as people, we should not only be monitoring the people around us but teaching our children to speak up to their parents if they see something out of the ordinary is now a must in this day and age. Children, especially teenagers, tend to believe that if they alert an adult of an issue, that they are being a “tattle tail” or a “nark,” getting someone in trouble. But when posed with the question, would you rather stop the incident or let the incident occur, most will say they would rather stop something bad happening to other people.
Some of the things we need to keep in mind are monitoring Social Media, which there are multiple ways to do that:
- If you have a child that is in school and are on social media, being their Facebook Friend, following their Snapchat and Instagram, as well as any other media that comes out should be important. Even if it upsets them, it’s a safety protocol.
- Keeping tabs on the School’s Social Media is also important. Knowing what’s going on in the school will keep you better informed, as well as keeping an eye on the local news that comes through. It might even be worth it to open a Twitter account just to get push notifications on your phone when big events happen.
- Discuss with your kids that if they see someone struggling online, to bring it up to you, whether it be violence, suicidal thoughts, or more. If they do not feel comfortable / seem resistant, let them know that they can anonymously report these people on Social Media via Facebook and Instagram to alert the apps that something is going on with the user, and the platform will alert the user they are being watched.
- If there is any threat of mass shooting, suicide, or someone bragging about having access to a gun, both students and parents need to not be afraid to report it. You can’t hold back and worry about “ruining someone’s life” with legal standing when it could be this person that ends many others.
- If there is a shooting going on, and it shows up on social media, alert the authorities immediately. The interception and urgency can change the course of what goes down, or how many people are injured or worse.
Amy Cooper is a journalist always searching for the truth.