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The Epidemic of Bullying -- Fertile grounds for School Terrorism

Making sense of Jonesboro -- Harvard psychiatrist Alvin
Poussaint says our violent society isn't making it easy to be a kid.
Mitchell Johnson, 13, and Andrew Golden, 11,donned camouflage, pulled a fire alarm, then lay in wait until their classmates tumbled out of Jonesboro, AR middle school before gunning them down. 4 girls and 1 teacher were killed in the crossfire and several students were injured. Though reports suggest that violence at schools is not on the rise, recent high-profile killings at schools in Pearl, MS, and West Padukah, KY suggests adolescents are seeking revenge, maybe even thrills, with firearms.

A Secret Service study into school-shooting incidents found that most of the attackers were on what researchers called a "path to violence." CNN

Wild in Deceit Teen Violence Is Poverty Violence in Disguise -- Experts identified a 1990s demographic scapegoat for America's violent crime: our own kids.

Examining the psyche of an adolescent killer -- The Secret Service studied the cases of 41 children involved in 37 shootings at their current or former school, from 1974 to 2000. They traveled to prisons to interview 10 of the shooters, who sat for the video camera in orange prison jump suits, all acne and handcuffs, more sad than evil. Sun-Times

Heeding the Signs -- Without help troubled kids can explode.

Facing Down Violence -- Violence means many things to perpetrators. Perhaps most shocking to me were perpetrators' statements that violence brings immense thrills and emotional gratification. Minnesota Center Against Violence & Abuse

Misfits who don't kill -- Outcasts who grew up without resorting to violence talk about what kept them from a Littleton-style massacre.
As psychologists and educators talk about how to spot young people with a capacity for violence, the staff of YO! (Youth Outlook) in San Francisco filed these reports from thefront lines of teenage alienation.

The Issue of Violence in Our Schools -- Build, don't tear down - recognize the value of each student -- Look at the profiles of those doing the killings-children who think of themselves as misfits, who have been teased, put down, and have been made to feel somehow flawed. They want to experience national attention to experience being #1! How did they become so desperate for attention? To need revenge?

The Appropriate and Effective Use of Security Technologies in US Schools -- US Department of Education and the US Department of Justice have sponsored research and demonstration programs to collect data and test new ideas that expand understanding of school violence and disorder and lead to new programs to reduce these problems.

Combating Fear and Restoring Safety in Schools -- Manifestations of street violence that have encroached on schools: bullying, gangs, the possession and use of weapons, substance abuse, and violence in the community. It describes strategies that are being implemented by concerned citizens to restore safety and calm to their schools.

Killers gave plenty of warning signs

Another Littleton waiting to explode? -- Death threats and an uncaring school system convince one mother to move.

Helping set the stage for copycat school shootings -- Many troubled youngsters are nameless faces to teachers, guidance counselors, and school psychologists whose huge caseloads in oversized schools simply do not permit them to get to know their students as individuals. Rather than reminding children of recent classroom tragedies, we should be doing more to enhance the quality of life and learning for all of our students.

Where to place the blame? -- Some blame violence in the media and even sue over it. Families of 3 students killed in a 1997 high school shooting rampage in West Paducah blame violence in the media. This week, they sued several entertainment companies for $130 million, charging that violent computer games, Internet porn and a Leonardo DiCaprio movie contributed to the attack. Crime & Media

Genes and experience mold future criminal minds. Are some kids simply born bad? The short answer is yes, many criminals share a common genetic flaw. The complete could hold the key to eradicating violent crime. The idea that crime runs in families was revived when researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison announced a direct link between genes and behavior.
Are We Hardwired?: The Role of Genes in Human Behavior
William R. Clark, Michael Grunstein
Using identical twins raised in different families, who had parallel lives, authors show roughly half of human behavior can be accounted for by DNA. Clark and Grunstein take us on a tour of modern genetics and behavioral science, revealing that few elements of behavior depend upon a single gene; complexes of genes, often across chromosomes, driven most of our heredity-based actions. They examine the genetic basis, and quirks of individual behavioral traits - including aggression, sexuality, mental function, eating disorders, alcoholism, and drug abuse. They show genes and environment are not opposing forces; heredity shapes how we interpret our surroundings, which changes the structure of our brain. Perhaps most interesting, our ability to choose, to act unexpectedly, may lie in the chaos principle: the most minute differences during activation of a single neuron may lead to utterly unpredictable actions."

Human Natures: Genes, Cultures and the Human Prospect
Paul R. Ehrlich
What makes us act the way we do? Biologist Paul R. Ehrlich suggests that although people share a similar genetic makeup, these genes "do not shout commands at us ... at the very most, they whisper suggestions." He argues human nature is as much the result of genetic coding as cultural and environmental factors. Ehrlich conveys what science does and does not know. A valuable guide to genetics and evolution.

Moral Development and Moral Education -- Moral education is becoming popular in the fields of psychology and education. Media reports of increased violent juvenile crime, teen pregnancy, and suicide have caused a moral crisis in our nation. There is a growing trend linking the solutions to social problems to the teaching of moral and social values in our public schools. However, considerations of the role schools can and should play in the moral development of youth are themselves the subject of controversy. Fortunately research on moral development has been going almost a century.

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Copyright Kari Sable 1994-2006

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Savage Spawn Violence perpetrated by children seems to be running rampant. No community is safe from this tragic phenomenon, and experts ranging from law enforcement officials to guidance counselors are confused and conflicted about how to approach it. Kellerman a scientist and child psychologist dissects the problem: dangerous children, in all likelihood, will grow up to be dangerous adults. Kellerman discusses the legal and psychological ramifications of treating such children as adult criminals. He explores the "nature vs. nurture" debate and tackles, with surprising results, the popular idea that violence in the media is to blame for our children's violent behavior.

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