Joplin, MO, about 40 minutes from me had a school shooting! A 13 year old took an [edit it's an AK-47-like wepon with an altered 30 round clip that may have caused it to missfire saving the principal's life] into school and fired one shot in the ceiling. In a Middle School! A 13 year old! Thank God no one was injured. Thank God the school had a competent and brave principal.
Riverton, KS, High school, about 15 minutes from me, had 5 boys arrested for planning a "Columbine-type" shooting. On the news last night some mother of a Joplin Middle Schooler was crying and she said, "That's it. I'm homeschooling."
Is an inner-city school now safer than a small-town school? When I was 14 (about 1979) a friend brought a switchblade to school. But he kept it hidden from teachers and most other students. It was to show off to friends, not to threaten anyone. Most of us carried pocket-knives to school, but we never thought about hurting someone with them.
I even had friends that had guns in their car at high school, but no one thought about using one unless one's life was endangered. No one wanted to lose the gun to the authorities I suppose.
What has happened that so many students feel so disconnected that they are willing to go to such extremes to get attention or revenge? How are these kids not getting the message that there is an entire life to be lived? And that taking that life from someone else is serious business? I know that the teen years are self-focused, but, empathy can still be there.
Public Education, Public Schools, School Shootings, Joplin, MO, Riverton, KS