Students and families dealing with safety concerns ahead of return to school
School shootings have caused students and their families to become concerned ahead of the new school year.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The first day of school is just weeks away for most districts in the Charlotte area, and anxiety is building.
Students have always had to deal with back-to-school anxiousness surrounding new people, new teachers, and the like, but this year many are also concerned with safety - particularly regarding school shootings.
“What we’ve seen happen in Texas and other places, it is a different world,” parent Michelle Perry said, referencing the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde this past May.
Many others, including fellow parents, students and teachers, share similar concerns ahead of the new school year.
“I have a little anxiety myself going back to school because I don’t know the first day I go back to school, who knows what might happen?” high school senior Donovan Williams said.
A 2021 study in the Journal of American Medical Association, which looked at how kids responded to school shootings, found that concerns about such violence led to a higher chance of panic or anxiety.
Afnan Beauti, a physician assistant in Charlotte, said that there are some ways to manage anxiety stemming from these fears.
She said that hearing out children’s concerns, having a stable family routine, and consulting your healthcare provider or a professional, are the best ways to address any anxiety related to going back to school.
Additionally, to prepare for shooting emergencies, and to hopefully ease some fears, many teachers have taken part in active-shooter training prior to the new year.
“In the event of a school shooting, I could protect myself and all 30 of my students,” Tatyana Brewton said.
Brewton, who is a seventh-grade science teacher at South West Middle School in the Steele Creek area, is preparing to return Monday.
She took part in the training, and said that if there were a shooting, she has also learned how to execute an evacuation plan.
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