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Schools, parents discuss safety with kids after mass shootings

NOW: Schools, parents discuss safety with kids after mass shootings

GOSHEN, Ind. - In the wake of the shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas, many parents are starting to have those conversations with their kids, as many of them prepare for the first day of school tomorrow.

One mom who had to turn off the mass shooting coverage and talk to her kids for the first time about shootings and safety. Her kids are in pre-school, kindergarten and second grade.

“Will my school get shot? Will they take guns into my school and shoot my school?” Angel Canales said her children have asked her these questions.

She has four kids with different ages ranging up to 7 years old. When the news started talking about the mass shootings as well as past mass shootings, she turned the TV off.

“Because it was making my daughter extremely scared,” she said. “She started getting worried about getting back to school.”

Just days before her kids start school and she has to have that difficult talk for the first time.

“It’s a very important subject, because yeah she’s scared so I want to address the fear,” she said.

Canales tells me it’s important for all parents to talk to their kids about safety in schools.

“They need to step up and start talking to their kids too. Yes, it’s a scary thing but it’s also something that needs to be made aware,” she said.

She said it’s a conversation schools should be having too.

Amy King is a social worker at Goshen High School, she said they do have the resources, but are not going to explicitly talk about mass shootings, until a student brings it up. At that time, they will speak to that student.

“Just have a conversation with them, just listen to them, kind of figure out where they are with that. Are they worried? Do they feel fear? That kind of stuff and just kind of go from there,” she said.

If they need more help beyond that, she King said the school can connect them to resources.

King and Canales both said how important it is to reassure the students that there are things the school does to make sure that they are safe.

Barry Younghans, the Superintendent at Goshen High School, said they have resources teens can go to if they are scared or have questions.

When students come to school tomorrow, they will be able to walk in the doors and have the resources to talk about the mass shootings. Resources like a social worker and counselors that are available to talk to the kids.

“We will deal with students on an individual basis,” Younghans said. “If kids come to us and they have problems, or they want to talk about it. We’ll provide a place for that. We’ll have resources available to them.”

They also have safety drills that they’ll practice on their first day tomorrow and a few more throughout the school year.

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