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,
A Secret Service study
into school-shooting incidents found that most of the attackers
were on what researchers called a "path
to violence." CNN
in Deceit Teen Violence Is Poverty Violence in Disguise -- Experts
identified a 1990s demographic scapegoat for America's violent crime:
our own kids.
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
the Signs -- Without help troubled kids can explode.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
gave plenty of warning signs
Littleton waiting to explode? -- Death threats and an uncaring
school system convince one mother to move.
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.
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
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.
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."
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
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.
PO Box 6166
Olympia, WA 98507
Copyright Kari Sable 1994-2006