“If you hear a lot about a risk, then you tend to regard that risk as a likely event. This is true even if, in reality, the risk is very low,” Englander said.
“School is still a very safe place for children, statistically. But because we hear so many reports of shootings, it begins to feel like a much more dangerous place,” she said.
Englander said this poses a dilemma for school administrators. “The difficulty is if you don’t reveal it to the public, you’re accused of hiding it, but if you do reveal it to the public you risk adding to the saliency effect,” Englander said.
As a result, students are “living with the stress of feeling there’s a sword of Damocles over their heads,” Englander said.