In the wake of so many school shootings across our country, one of the biggest questions that comes up is how we can make our schools safer. Typically people will answer with gun control. Unfortunately, it’s never that easy. Many in our nation have been pushing for gun control for years, and while there may be progress here and there, it’s not enough at the moment. While there are many people pushing for gun control, there are so many pushing back that it sometimes feels like things will never change. Here are a few things we can do in order to try and make our schools safer in these trying times.

Teach Social and Emotional Skills

Social and emotional skills are pivotal as a way to preventing student violence. Young people typically learn social skills from everyday interactions with other humans. When kids play together, they’re taught how to control their emotions while recognizing others feelings. Kids today are much more absorbed in media though, so it can be challenging for them to get the free social time they require to develop those skills. By teaching these skills in schools, we can help students connect better. One of the problems that arise in this is that due to budget cuts, there are many schools who do not have the trained professionals needed to help troubled students. It may be expensive to get these professionals into more school systems, but the lives they could save would outweigh that cost by a lot.

Use Technology

While some people may say that technology is the root of America’s gun problem, it can actually be used to help identify troubled students, which could in turn prevent some of these tragedies from happening. There are plenty of anonymous reporting systems, a lot of them text message based, which can be used to make it easier for students and parents to let law enforcement know about potential threats. Another way technology can be used is social media. The majority of young people today use some form of social media to express their feelings, and with school shooters you will often see violent posts. This can make it easier to spot potential threats if violent posts are repeatedly made.

Engage with your own child

Often times a parent will completely miss the fact that there’s something wrong with their own child. It can be hard at times, especially with teens who don’t often like to talk about how their life is going. There are plenty of ways to make sure your child is living a happy and healthy life, and that’s the key to getting them to spread that same positivity to their peers. Make sure your child has healthy relationships, whether it be with family or their own peers, and make sure that they get plenty of sleep and social activity.

The key to ensuring our children and their schools starts with us, the adults. School should be a safe environment for all children and lately it hasn’t felt like that. Talk with the leaders in your children’s school, and talk with your children. Work together to find ways to make sure kids are safe and comfortable while they get the education they deserve.