Kentucky school shooting weighing heavily on local parents

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WINTERVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Another school shooting making national headlines means some parents in eastern North Carolina are once again having difficult conversations with their children about school safety.

Photo David Mark / Pixabay

Authorities say a 15-year-old opened fire at his high school in Benton, KY killing two teens and injuring 18 more people.

Some of the parents at Winterville Charter Academy say it's hard to bring up subjects like school shootings with their kids.

The day after the shooting, kids at Winterville Charter School had playtime on their minds, but for parents in line early for carpool, they were on edge.

"It needs to stop because we pray for our kids to come to school and come home safely," says Annie Topey, one of the first in line to pick up her grandkids from school.

"I'm from old school because if they don't come out right then, I'll go in and get them," she says.

It's important for parents to be vigilant about their children's safety.

Principal Glenn Reaves says when events like Tuesday's shooting make the national news, it gives him pause.

"I mean, it's your very worst nightmare realized and you know you reflect and try to make sure that you've done everything you can do to prepare for that possibility, while at the same time hoping it never ever happens," he tells WITN.

The reality, he says, is that possibility exists.

That's why Jeannie Golden, an associate professor in the ECU School of Psychology says it's important to talk to your kids about these events.

"Students fare better when they're more prepared," Golden explains.

The National Association of School Psychologists says part of that means explaining their schools' specific safety precautions.

"It's a fine line between you don't want to create anxiety by talking about it too much and preparing for it too much to the point where you're making the anxiety worse," the professor says.

Golden says the best thing is to remind kids of any age that parents and teachers will do everything to protect them and will always be there to talk to.

Winterville Charter School says they begin every school year with safety planning and crisis prevention drills.