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
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. “Family.com parenting”.
“Tide of Violence at US Schools”. http://news.bbc.co.uk/
School Violence Quiz. http://msnbc.com/
Other School Shootings. http://www.angelfire.com/
Inspirational Quotes Webpage. http://www.cyber-nation.com/victory/quotations
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.,