Parents: Talk to kids about school threats before they get in trouble, police urge

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(WJRT) (8/22/2019) - "This is my niece and it just terrifies me," Jean Johnson said.

5-year-old Pearl starts kindergarten on Monday. And, her Aunt Jean Johnson was brought to tears thinking about her learning what to do in an active shooter situation.

"I would never want her hurt," she said.

This is one of many reasons why law enforcement take every threat seriously - those written on bathroom stalls, on social media and even in video game platforms.

In Florida this week, police arrested a 15-year-old after he wrote a threat in a video game chat, saying he'd bring his father's assault rifle to school and shoot at least 7 people.

"This is where we're at. This is the world we live in, where people think it's funny to say I'm gonna go kill people at school," the officer said to the boy's mother. "Well he's not people, he's a child. This is different. He's playing a video game and he's a boy," the Mom said.

"Anything that can be taken out of context, it stays with you, it never goes away, so we talk about that a lot," Mom Suzy Haden explained.

She has two boys, ages 13 and 15 years old. She treats every incident as a teaching moment.

"Every time that something like that comes up, you have to have those conversations," she said.

It was a fellow gamer who reported the 15-year-old's comments. A reminder, Johnson said, for all kids to speak up when something isn't right.

"I always told them make good choices. When you're away from Mom, make good choices."

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