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Experts explain warning signs in someone who may become violent

Posted at 6:11 PM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 19:11:14-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Students may not know how to identify the warning signs from someone who may become violent.

Dr. Ryan Smith, a psychiatrist with South Texas Mental Health Associates, said the best predictor of future behavior is looking at someone’s past behavior.

He said prior violence can be an indicator.

“You can imagine that there could be some bullying or some abuse that had happened to that person as well that gave them a reason to want to get back at someone,” Smith said.

He said another sign is substance abuse.

He added diagnosis like schizophrenia, can cause someone to be out of touch with reality and commit acts of violence.

However, some people might feel guilty for not recognizing the signs in someone who may commit a violent act.

Smith said the best thing they can do is talk with family and friends about their mental health.

“For most of us, we’ll have family and friends that come in to support us and tell us these things like ‘that’s out of your control' or ‘it’s not your fault that this happened,'” he said.

With just a few clicks, students from Ingleside High School are able to report incidents on the school’s anonymous tip line.

Dr. Steve Edlin, the school’s principal, said the tip line is a way of encouraging students to “see something, say something.”

He said students can report incidents that occurred on social media, bullying, or even when they’re just feeling down.

“It keeps a good communication line between students and staff and us and the community,” Edlin said.

Administrators will then follow up with the student who was reported.

Edlin said the school also has a software system that allows administrators to detect certain language that is used on the student’s laptop involving harm to themselves or others.

“We really want to create this open feel and we want to remove that stigma of mental health or safety issues," Edlin said. "We want the students to feel safe to come talk to us so we can avoid any major incidents."

He said teachers, staff, and community members can also use the tip line.