ERIC Number: EJ763856
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May-4
Reference Count: N/A
Before the Rampage: What Can Be Done?
Newman, Katherine S.
Chronicle of Higher Education, v53 n35 pB20 May 2007
The author of this article, a sociologist who has studied the social roots of school shootings, describes what scholars of adolescent violence have learned from research about the causes of rampage shootings. Among her observations: (1) rampage school shootings are never spontaneous; (2) school shooters broadcast their intentions; (3) school shooters are "problem solvers" in that they are trying to turn the reputations they live with as losers into something more glamorous, more notorious; and (4) depression is endemic in these young men. The author concludes by applauding those at Virginia Tech who did exactly what we expect them to do, such as alerting the counseling staff to scary writing submitted by the shooter, attempting to cajole him into treatment, and warning the police. Those efforts failed in this instance and a thorough investigation must be undertaken to discern why. Part of the story lies in the unwillingness of our society to lock up people who have committed no illegal acts. To be depressed or even scary is no crime, and for those civil liberties we pay a heavy price which will be debated for years to come.
Descriptors: Schools, Violence, Adolescents, Crime Prevention, Social Status, Depression (Psychology)
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://chronicle.com/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arkansas; Kentucky; Virginia