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Southfield mother talks about the emotional toll of another mass shooting

Posted at 8:25 PM, May 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-25 20:25:04-04

(WXYZ) — Cassandra Sylvers is among thousands of parents in Michigan who were fearful this morning about sending their child to school. Her son is a 5th grader in Southfield.

"I freaked out like not again," she says.

Her son’s school was placed on lockdown after the Oxford shooting.

"We could not go in or out to get our children. It was just terrifying to know someone could get in and murder so many children."

We wanted expert advice from Psychologist Eric Herman from the Detroit Medical Centers Children's Hospital of Michigan.

"For older kids who have access to social media, you may have to explain it to them as Cassandra did with her son," he told us.

"I walked him to the bus stop and talked about gun violence ways to protect yourself and speak up if something is not right," Cassandra explained.

Herman says for this 18-year-old shooter who is deceased, warning signs of mental illness were likely missed. He says red flags in children show up early even as soon as 1st 2nd and 3rd grade.

"Unwillingness to socialize, harming animals, violent writings and drawings and anger issues," he says.

For Cassandra, she believes kids must be observant too.

"Listen to our friends, be bold, courageous you might save others."

And while it’s too late for Oxford and now Uvalde Texas, this mom says, "You can’t live in fear. Move forward, speak out."