Local schools and students react to the south Florida school shooting

Although Thursday's school shooting didn't happen in the Tampa Bay area, many local law enforcement agencies are taking precautions.

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So far, Polk and Pasco County Sheriff's took to Facebook, hoping to ease the fears of parents.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd posted in part, "While we realize this was an isolated incident, and one that we may never understand, we want you to know that we remain ever-vigilant at our schools, on our streets, and countywide." His deputies plan to be out in force around schools across the county for the next few days. 

Pasco County Sheriff's Office posted a similar sentiment, adding "there are no threats to Pasco County and that this enhanced presence is to help provide a peace of mind."

School districts took to social media as well. As of now, Hillsborough, Polk and Pasco county school districts confirmed counselors will be made available to any children who need someone to talk to. All they have to do is ask.

Law enforcement and school districts stepped up, but as a parent, you play an important role. ABC Action News reached out to the Tampa Bay Crisis Center for advice on how to talk to your children about tragic events like the one in Parkland:

  • Practice supportive listening 
  • Offer hugs.
  • Communicate how this experience affected you, as appropriate
  • Communicate about what happened; include the unpleasant and positive 
  • Promote child’s self-care
  • Maintain expectations and rules
  • Remind kids that there are people always willing to help – teachers, parents, mental health professionals
  • Seek professional help if difficulties continue for a couple of months after the event
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