Clinical therapist N. Vanessa Jackson, whose specialty is counseling adolescents, said while some of the threats could be “copy cats,” there also could an indication that teens are crying out for help when they demonstrate “aggressive, unpredictable and concerning behavior.”
She said sometimes clues might be lurking online.
“These days, you have to look at their social media,” Jackson said. “These days, young people are shaping their identity based on social media.”
Jackson said parents and loved ones should let a troubled teen know they are loved and supported but also inform them of the consequences of threatening violence at school.
“We have to have more of these (conversations) at home just like we have conversations about drugs and alcohol.”