The pervasive violence these days, particularly in popular TV shows, movies and video games, may or may not be to blame for deadly invasions of schools. We'll leave it to the experts to make that call. But what any parent of a school-age child senses is an ever-present awareness that random acts of mayhem are much more likely nowadays.
Because of high-profile incidents like the one at Columbine High School in Colorado a few years ago, educators, parents and students have been made keenly aware of the need to take safety precautions.
One way schools have addressed the escalating threat of violence is to drum it into students that any potentially dangerous statement, scribbled note, e-mail or telephone conversation, no matter how trivial or lighthearted, needs to be reported immediately to someone in authority. That could be a teacher, counselor, resource officer or principal.
Incidents in just the past few days at local schools demonstrate that this message is getting through to students. Actions that might have been tossed off just a few years ago as harmless pranks or jests are being handed over to school officials to handle.
Good. The result is swift intervention, the kind that keeps small things from becoming big disasters.
School officials are looking for all the assistance they can muster in creating a safe environment for students. With vigilant students, supportive parents and cautious educators, the worst injury parents should have to fear while their sons and daughters are at school is a bruised arm from dodgeball.