Crumbley verdict questions how to respond to children and students dealing with crisis

Responding to children, students experiencing crisis

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(ABC 6 News) – It was a tragedy that could’ve been prevented with better communication and seeing the signs early on.

The day before a school shooting in Michigan unfolded, teachers saw Ethan Crumbley searching online for ammunition with his cell phone during class.

After notifying Crumbley’s mother, Jennifer, she replied in a text message writing, “Lol, I’m not mad at you, you have to learn not to get caught.”

Hours later, Ethan Crumbley recorded a video, saying he plans to kill his classmates.

On the day of the shooting, school officials found violent drawings on his math assignment, but he was allowed to stay in school after a meeting with his parents.

A few hours later, tragedy struck.

“It’s definitely going to resonate with me for awhile,” Craig Schilling, a victim’s father, said.

The gun used in the shooting belonged to Ethan Crumbley’s parents and wasn’t locked up.

“If there’s guns in the house lock them up, if there’s weapons in the house lock them up, don’t give kids access to that type of stuff, it just makes it a lot easier for somebody who is disturbed to make a very impulsive decision,” licensed professional clinical counselor Tim Volz said.

Jennifer Crumbley said she saw no signs of mental distress in her son, but police found a journal where Ethan stated his parents wouldn’t listen to his pleas for help.

Now some are asking, “what should they have done?”

“Talk with students about it have that real conversation with them while also normalizing their feelings and saying you know it’s okay to feel worried or anxious or you know feel scared about the events that go on in your life or in the world, but you have someone you can always talk to,” Jefferson Elementary School counselor Tony Yang said.

Social workers say it comes down to simply listening to your kid.

“Do your due diligence with your child, it is your choice to have a child, you cannot choose to not take care of your child, you cannot choose to not nurture your child,” Schilling said.

James Crumbley, the father of Ethan, will face the court next month.

This case serves as a reminder for anyone to check in with your child or loved one from time to time-to prevent tragedies like this happening.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis, you are encouraged to dial the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline 988