Mental health professional weighs in on local false active shooter threats

(ABC 6 News) – A scary situation erupted at many southeast Minnesota schools Wednesday morning.

Some students said they were shocked by the fake active shooter threats at their school. Parents also said it was a traumatic experience.

RELATED: Multiple Minnesota schools receive false active shooter calls

“I’ve talked to several parents where it was the initial reaction was fight or flight like I need to go get my kids and I need to go get them now,” Director of Clinical Services at Zumbro Valley Health Center Heather Geerts said in response to the local threats.

She said what causes the most fear for people is the unknown.

“Because when you have the unknown, you create your own next steps, right? Your mind goes to the worst-case scenario.”

Geerts added that events like these not only bring up feelings of fear, anxiety and anger but also make you feel vulnerable.

“It makes you think of what could happen,” she said.

Her advice for parents is to ask your children how they are feeling. Listen to them and try to understand where they are coming from and validate that the feelings they might be having after Wednesday’s events are normal. She added if you need to seek help, it’s available.