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

Medically reviewed by: Meghan T. Walls, PsyD

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 about or shows you a gun in school:

  • Get away from the person quickly and quietly.
  • Tell an adult you trust right away. 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.

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

Many schools allow you to report concerns anonymously. In any case, the school staff will know how to handle the situation without using 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
  • 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.

Medically reviewed by: Meghan T. Walls, PsyD
Date reviewed: May 2023