Proactive parents key to protecting students

By Donna McCollum - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Students, parents and even former teachers are expressing how dangerous John Tyler High School is, but there is something parents can do. Sometimes it's as easy as just talking to your children about any potentially serious situation at their school.

A news story about violence on college campuses jogged an 11-year-old girl's memory to tell her family of a school incident that happened two weeks earlier.

"A little boy said that if he was to bring a gun to school that she would be the first one that he would shoot," Amy Allen claimed.

Allen naturally contacted the school and appropriate disciplinary action was taken. For Allen, it was a wake up call to stay in touch with what goes on during her child's day.

"It really brought to my attention that I need to question her in the evening what went on, what happened," Allen said.

Counselors advise parents not to accept those infamous answers like "fine", "alright" or "nothing" when you ask about your child's day. They say the automobile can be a good place to open up a conversation since there are less distractions.

On playgrounds to classrooms idle threats are made and never carried out. Nevertheless, educators are learning it's best to err on the side of caution.

"You can avoid and try to take care a lot of situations before they ever happen," Grey Burton, a superintendent said. "You always plan for the worse, but hope for the best and that's the way to keep everybody safe."

Wednesday was an emotional day for Allen, particularly when she got home and watched the news story on the John Tyler school violence.

"The same time I'm in the meeting stressing the importance to protect the children, protect all the children at the school, yet in Tyler there was another student that was slaying a teacher," Allen said.

This is something no one would want at any school campus.

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