An Education On Violence

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From what we're hearing out of Cleveland, there were warning signs that the 14-year-old who shot four people in his school was planning some kind of revenge. One of the other students says he warned the principal about earlier threats, and the shooter reportedly promised, "I got something for you all," after he was suspended on Monday. Whatever the motive and the warning signs, the principal called a "code blue" in the school, once the shooting started. These days, many schools have lockdown procedures, in response to previous shootings. We'll talk with an expert on preventing school violence about what we've learned from past incidents. Did the new procedures work in Cleveland? Do you have any experience with school lockdown drills? Do you think they're effective?

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Why do we place the blame for these incidents on the schools? Why don't we ask what the child was doing with a gun? Why don't we ask where these children get the idea that shooting people will solve their problems? Do we really want all of our children to have to go through searches and metal detectors? Who pays for such security? In a time when most schools cannot pay for books, do we want them to treat each student as a potential threat?

Sent by amy moser | 2:49 PM | 10-11-2007

I am listening to this on the radio and am in shock to hear about what ppl think might have been the arguement between the attacker and the other students. I have two brothers in h.s. They are both very influenced by the media and by society. Schools need to implement programs on how to talk to students and parents on daily issues they are facing. My brothers have been influenced by the same mentality of "There is no God". And alot of their friends also believe that. Be it a result of the war and mentality around politics, it affects these students.

Sent by Jessica | 2:58 PM | 10-11-2007

Anti-depressants, again. In other school shooter.

Psychiatrist Peter Breggin, M.D. writes, "I have personally evaluated dozens of cases of individuals driven to violence by psychiatric drugs... most commonly the newer antidepressants. One of the cases I evaluated, the Columbine shooter Eric Harris, looks the most like Cho [the Virginia Tech shooter]." See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-peter-breggin/the-real-mental-health-l_b_46327.html

Anti-depressants affect energy transferring between neurons. The body's ability to produce its own brain chemcials atrophies when drugs take over. People's motivation to feel good by connecting to people deteriorates; drugs provide good feelings instead. Anti-depressants have effects like that of cocaine and methamphetamine. See: "SSRI Induced Violence": http://www.breggin.com/SSRIinduced.htm

Drugs interfere with the brain's natural development in processing emotions. When drugs keep people happy, they lose practice dealing with negative feelings. When a bad feeling occurs, they react like it shouldn't.

Prevent school shootings. Heal people with social support.

Sent by Irene | 3:08 PM | 10-11-2007

These stories, and blogs about them, usually turn into a polarized, and useless gun control debate. Where does a school-age kid get a gun? At home, of course. I live in Indiana, where about half of all homes own a firearm (about 60% of them handguns.) I imagine Ohio is similar. So I agree, don't blame the school. We need to look at our home environment and our relationships with our kids.

Sent by Erik | 3:13 PM | 10-11-2007

Apathy and denial are sinking our nation. What will it take to wake us up? I thought Columbine would surely do it. It awoke a few of us, but most of our fellow citizens are entirely asleep. Four years ago I was president of our local high school PTA and spoke to 700 plus parents and teachers at back to school night. I said that a Columbine type massacre could happen tommorow at any high school in our country. I then invited all present to come to our booth, to see what we were doing to prevent such an event. Only two people bothered to come and ask! If we wake up we can heal the root causes of violence in our nation. If we won't, violence will continue to escalate!!

Sent by Mark | 4:13 PM | 10-11-2007

We are a nation that believes children are possesions belonging to individuals. We are not responsible for other people's children. Unfortunately, we end up with these "throw away" children. Then we all act surprised and shocked when a child turns violent. These throw away children are raised in violent or negligent homes, walk to school in depressed, distressed neighborhoods, attend schools that are overcrowded, overtested, and overstressed and along the way through their childhood years rack up traumatic experiences similar to those children that grow up in war torn areas. Approximately 1 out 4 children is suffering from symptoms of Post traumatic stress syndrome. And we are surprised when they snap? We are surprised when they end up filling our prison systems? We are surprised when they join gangs for support? It is time for our nation to show support for our children. Our future lies in the hands of our children. We can't afford to simply "throw away" these kids.

Sent by Jennifer | 7:59 AM | 10-12-2007

As noted in several other comments, though not noted in your piece, was that the drills and methods described by your guests are not preventative measures. Lockdowns and security guards are reactive measures used by schools to deal with a situation involving a student with a gun. Regardless of their efficacy they are irrelevant if we choose instead to deal with the larger issue. Guns are everywhere in this country. Stop selling guns. Why are people afraid to say this?

Sent by Ryan | 3:38 AM | 10-13-2007

As a culture we are so desensitized to violence it is scary. We spend more time protesting old movies that have cigarettes in them then we do pointless violence. We should be asking why is there such a profitable market for violence. What are we missing as a society and how is this hurting our youth

Sent by cantu | 4:54 AM | 10-13-2007

Our children are being raised in a society that no longer cares about them as much as it cares for material wealth. Parents are so obsessed by chasing that next dollar that they often have no idea what is really going on in the lives of their children. And if parents know what is going on, many turn a blind eye. It is not the fault of schools, or police, or the government, or the next door neighbors, or movies/videogames/music; it is the fault of disconnected parents who can't be bothered to stop and talk to their kids or go into their rooms and find out what they're doing or look over their shoulders and find out what they're saying online.

Sent by Matt Skeens | 10:33 AM | 10-13-2007