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Someone at School Has a Weapon. What Should I Do?

No one should bring a gun or weapon to school. But sometimes, students might bring guns, knives, or other weapons to school for attention, to protect themselves, or to threaten or harm others.

If someone tells you they have a gun or weapon or shows it to you:

  • Get away from the person quickly and quietly.
  • Tell an adult you trust immediately. If you can't find a teacher, parent, coach, or other adult, call 911. Give as many details as you can such as what you saw, what type of weapon it was (a knife, a gun, etc.), where the incident happened, and who was involved.

Tell them about the situation — such as whether the weapon was being shown off or used to threaten another student.

Will Someone Know if I Tell That They Have a Gun/Weapon?

Your school counselor, principal, teacher, or coach should know how to handle the situation without using your name. If you are still worried that someone will find out, call 911 and tell them you do not want to give your name. Or, call your school office and report the incident without giving your name.

Remember, you may save a life by reporting that someone is carrying a gun.

The Warning Signs of Violence

Violence comes in many different forms and doesn't always involve a weapon. Violence can be physical, like pushing, punching, or fighting with someone. It also can be psychological and might involve name-calling, harassment, taunting, and other forms of bullying.

People who are more likely to become violent may show some of these warning signs:

  • cruelty to pets and other animals
  • talking about weapons and violence
  • fascination with violent video games, TV shows, and movies
  • threatening or bullying others
  • isolation from family and friends

Of course, these signs don't necessarily mean that a person will become violent or bring a weapon to school. Still, you should take all signs and threats seriously, and share your concerns with a responsible adult early on. Speaking up about violence and weapons in school not only protects you, but your friends and classmates too.

Reviewed by: Amy W. Anzilotti, MD
Date Reviewed: Sep 12, 2021

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