Active school shooting incidents are every parent’s nightmare. And while it might be easier to not talk about such incidents, it’s much better to discuss how to be prepared for them with your children. We spoke to the Hillsborough, Florida County Sheriff’s Office to ask their advice about what parents should discuss with their kids. Via the communications department, the office told us that they remind parents to have age-appropriate conversations with their children about ways to stay safe in any emergency. “This can be as simple as reviewing the steps your school provides. Information is power.”
They add, “Here are some basics (this may not be appropriate for all ages): know your exits. Know your surroundings, if you see something, say something.”
Again, depending on the age of the child, they advise discussing “Run, hide, fight,” which basically prioritizes leaving the scene as quickly as possible if escape is possible; followed by hiding and fighting as a last resort. Here is a good explainer of “run, hide, fight.” And here is a good video that goes over “run, hide, fight” in general terms, and takes place in a bar instead of a school. But the same basic rules apply. And here is more information from the Department of Homeland Security about how to react in the situation.
This is likely to be a scary and uncomfortable conversation, but it’s a conversation that’s worth having.