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School Threats Could Hold Deeper Meaning, Therapists Say

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

With all the threats being made to Green Country schools, we're looking into why students are making them and the impact the threats can have.

2/23/2018 Related Story: Schools Across Green Country Dealing With Social Media Threats

At Dove Science Academy, the suspect police arrested told officers he was making a joke.

Experts say sometimes there is a deeper reason for why a student makes a threat.

As parents drove up to Dove Science Academy to pick up their children after a lockdown was lifted, they took the threat seriously but also wondered what would cause a child to threaten others. 

"I think kids know that they can use that as a tool to get a free day and just cause panic and havoc. But, you don't want to take something like that lightly in case you're wrong," said parent Vernon Keys.  

"It's hard to say what motivates one person is also gonna motivate someone else," said Family and Children Services Clinical Supervisor Cari Gibson. 

Gibson works as a therapist.

While getting the day off school, or gaining attention might be reasons for why a child makes a threat, Gibson said there's no across-the-board answer.

A child may be dealing with some kind of trauma.

"Maybe disruptions in the home, maybe losses that they've had, severe depression or anger that they have," Gibson said. 

Threats end up having an impact on others.

"It can definitely affect people's feelings of security and safety," said Gibson. 

She said there are a few things parents can do to help their children understand how serious threats are. 

"Don't assume everything is fine," Gibson said. 

She said parents should keep the line of communication open and keep an eye on their kids' social media accounts.

"To make sure that there's not any warning signs going on with your own child," she said. 

Family and Children Services has a list of guidelines for helping children after a mass violence event, like what we just saw in Florida.

Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth after Mass Violence 

Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth after the Recent Shooting

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