South Florida expert offers advice to parents on how to approach latest tragedy

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – In the wake of the Uvalde school massacre, a lot of parents are asking themselves whether it’s safe to send their kids to school.

Local 10 News brought those concerns to Dr. Daniel Bober, the chief psychiatrist at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood.

“I have parents telling me they don’t want to send their kids to school,” Bober said.

Bober said parents may not be able to shield their children from what they see on their screens, but they can equip themselves with the truth and use it.

“Mass shootings represent only a small fraction of firearm homicides and the odds of something like this happening at your school are so infinitesimal that it’s not even worth mentioning,” he said. “So parents need to send their kids to school, they need to keep their head up, they need to reassure them and let them know that they’re safe.”

Bober says parents should be on alert for signs of trauma over what they’re hearing and seeing.

“You want to look for things like are they having nightmares, are they acting out,” he said. “So the younger they are, the less they are able to verbalize their feelings, so they might act out physically.”

He encourages parents who fear their children are struggling to pay attention.

“(Look) at their behavior,” Bober said. “Has there been a change? Are they eating the same way? Are they dressing the same way? Are they sleeping the same way? What about their hygiene? Who are they hanging out with? Are they withdrawing?”

Bober added that when it comes to gun violence, people who suffer from mental health issues are far more likely to be the victims of homicides than the perpetrators.

About the Authors:

Christian De La Rosa joined Local 10 News in April 2017 after spending time as a reporter and anchor in Atlanta, San Diego, Orlando and Panama City Beach.

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.