How do I know if I'm overreacting to the situation?
You don’t know. But if your feelings tell you that something is wrong, you should report it to your parents, school administrator, counselor, teacher or other trusted adult. By speaking up you let adults trained in asking the right questions to become involved and provide the help needed.
What if my friend is just blowing off steam?
That may be true if they make a one-time comment and there are no other signs that make you worry. If your friend mentions hurting themselves or others more than once, or there is a specific plan to hurt themselves or others, you need to tell a trusted adult.
What about the "Code of Silence" at my school?
It's always hard to tell an adult about one of your peers. The most important thing is to always keep your friends and classmates safe. Tell an adult you trust. Students will often talk or use social media to share their fears or anger. Often they really want help and support. If no one listens and takes action they may feel they have no alternative but to act on their intentions.
If I report it will ruin my friendship?
It's certainly possible that your friend might be angry at first. It might damage your friendship. But you report because you care about this person. Their safety, and the safety of others, is more important than a tough spot in your friendship.
What should I report?
If you feel anyone is in danger, it should be reported. Even if you're not sure someone would actually carry out a threat or act of violence you should tell a trusted adult. There may be more going on than you know, so it is very important to let trusted adults know of your concerns.