SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – School shootings, such as the one that occurred Tuesday at Robb Elementary School, come with not only the death of innocent people going about their daily lives but also uncertainty for those impacted directly and indirectly.
One of the uncertainties is for those who planned to someday become a teacher but are now concerned they could be the next victim of a school shooter.
Recent high school graduate Rachel Smith has been planning since last year to attend Georgia Southern University this fall and major in elementary education.
“I like working with kids and I like creating projects and activities for them. Now, I might not want to be a teacher because of the lack of security at most schools,” said Smith. “It is not a safe environment for teachers and students.”
But Linda Morgan, a licensed clinical social worker and owner and manager of Thunderbolt Counseling Services, LLC, argued mass shootings aren’t necessarily school-specific.
“There was also something at the Tops grocery store in Buffalo and then there was the shooting in El Paso,” she said.
“Being a teacher is not more in jeopardy than anywhere else,” Morgan continued. “This is a national problem that we have to work on, and as we work on it, it’s going to help everybody.
“It’s going to help teachers and people who work in public spaces, reporters, everyone.”
Morgan said it’s important not to brush aside students’ concerns but to recognize them.
“Acknowledge that they are concerned and they would worry,” she said. “This happened in a school, just like they might be in a school. Even though school just let out here, of course, they’re going to have to go back. They might be anxious about that.”
She added: “We need to reassure them that everybody is very upset about it and we’re all working on it.”
While speaking on the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, President Joe Biden said, “It’s time to turn this pain into action.”
“For every parent, for every citizen in this country, we have to make it clear to every elected official in this country: It’s time to act,” he said. “It’s time for those who obstruct or delay or block the common-sense gun laws, we need to let you know that we will not forget.
“We can do so much more. We have to do more.”
Concerning those who might be struggling with mental illness, Morgan encouraged having a discussion before taking further action.
“If they don’t seem to be getting anywhere, I think it’s really important for parents, teachers and community leaders to work together to see if the person needs an evaluation at a mental health center,” she continued. “You can even ask the police to come and maybe they will make a mental health arrest.”
For more information about Thunderbolt Counseling, visit this link.