Students making fake school threats is no joking matter

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School is quickly approaching, and a talk all parents should have with their kids is the seriousness of making school threats, even if it’s meant to be a joke.

With the recent rise in threats towards schools, staff and law enforcement are taking every threat very serious and will act as if every one is legitimate.

But how do you get a child to understand that a fake threat has real consequences?

Dr. Steven Cohen, who is a psychologist talks about ways parents can have this discussion with their kids.

“If you just tell them what not to say that doesn’t always help. We need to give them an alternative of they can say,” Dr. Cohen said.

This is advice a Lee County mother could have used in 2018 when her son got arrested after bringing a gun to school. The mother became an unwitting accomplice when she dropped her son off at the south Fort Myers High School, not knowing he had a loaded gun in his backpack.

Dr. Cohen says you have to teach your child how to express themselves without the threat of an action that could get them in trouble.

“I’m really mad, they can even say I hate you…I would rather that than i’m gonna kill you,” Dr. Cohen said.

He says in the split second they want to act out, their instinct should be to use words.

If you want to show your child the consequences that come with using threatening language you can visit the Lee County school threat page here.

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