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School Violence – Giive Peace a Chance

“Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the

eternal rule.” ( Buddha.) Beginning in 1997, the frequency of

school shootings has been increasing at an alarming rate. On

December 1, 1997, Mike Carneal walks into Heath High School in

Paducah, Kentucky and opens fire on a daily prayer group. When

the spray of bullets ceased, three young girls lay dead and five

others were wounded. Classmates claim that Carneal hung out

with people who did not believe in God and would sometimes

heckle the morning worshippers. Carneal had also been in trouble

for scratching graffiti on a wall and trying to view nude photos on

the Internet.

Just five months into 1998, the 5th school shooting takes

place in Springfield, Oregon on May 21. Kip Kinkel allegedly

walked into Thurston High School and opened fire just 24 hours

after being suspended for having a gun at school. One student was

killed, nineteen others wounded, and Kinkel’s parents were

reportedly found dead in their home afterwards. His friends voted

him “Most Likely to Start World War III”. Kinkel was described as

looking for trouble and cursing both students and teachers. Friends

say he bragged about building bombs, torturing animals, and

wanting to kill people.

In these two cases and many others like them, a cry for help

was made long before anyone had to die. Unfortunately, this cry

for help went unheard and two young men did not receive the help

they so desperately needed. What would have happened if these

two boys would have received crisis counseling, whether in-school

or out-of-school at the first sign of violent or troubled behav…

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…rnight either. As Gandhi said, “You must be the change you

wish to see in the world”. I believe it will be a long hard fight but

if we work together as a community we may be able to, once again

send our children to school without the fear that it may be the last

time we see them alive.


“Factors Contributing to School Violence”.

“Perpetrators of School Violence”.

“An Overview of Strategies to Reduce School Violence”.

“Measures to Ensure School Safety”.

Rimm, Sylvia. “ parenting”.

“Tide of Violence at US Schools”.

School Violence Quiz.

Other School Shootings.

Inspirational Quotes Webpage.

Video Game Industry and Violence

Video Game Industry Should Restrain Violence

In 1998, the US software industry sold $6.3 billion worth of video games (see Unknown). Not bad for an industry that didn’t exist 25 years ago! Yet despite its continued growth, all is not well in the video game industry. School shootings in Littleton, Colorado; Pearl, Mississippi; Paducah, Kentucky; Conyers, Georgia and many other towns have shocked the nation (see Malcolm). Understandably, grieving parents and sympathetic citizens are searching for a cause for this “outbreak” of youth violence. It is natural to assume, “when children, the symbol of innocence, commit the severest of crimes, then something must be going wrong with society.” (see Maker)

The problem is, no one is exactly sure what is wrong with society. However, there have been no shortage of potential candidates. Perhaps the “40,000 killings children will see on television and in the movies by the time they are age 18” has something to do with it (see Gordon)? Maybe weak or uninformed gun laws are to blame? How about irresponsible parents or the loss of family values? Are overcrowded classrooms or a lack of school counselors the critical factors? Maybe the Internet has corrupted our youth? Did hyper-violent video games cause this “rash” of student violence? Or is it a combination of all of these factors?

The problem in determining a cause(s) is further compounded by mixed experimental findings. Scott (1995) did not find a positive relationship between video game violence and aggressive feelings among youth. In fact, there seemed to be a decrease in aggressive attitudes after playing violent games. These result seems to run counter to related studies concerned with the re…

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…gressive Behavior, Sept. 1992 v18 n5 p349-356.

Maker, J., Brittain, J., Piraino, G.,

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