According to most reports on the recent Ohio school shooting incident the shooter, T.J. Lane, was considered to be an outcast and was bullied. In most of these school shooting cases that seems to be an underlying theme. Many might suggest that these kids that wind up walking into schools with guns intent on killing people are misguided psychopaths. I take a slightly different view on this. I think they just snap.
Kids can be cruel, and while in no way am I suggesting that any level of cruelty ultimately justifies anyone being killed, I also happen to think that school officials need to look a little deeper into these kinds of problems. In fact, I think that schools should actually make cases like this a part of the curriculum. Just like many employers hold training on issues like sexual harrassment in the workplace, I think schools should at least heighten the awareness of bullying, its effects on the person being bullied, and the potential dangers bullying could pose if someone wakes up one morning and simply decides he's had enough.
Kids don't do much thinking about what they do and how what they do affects others. That much is clear. They also see life as being infinitely solid. How many times do we hear about kids being killed in high speed car crashes every year? And why? Because they don't believe they can die.
These cases are few and far between. And I should point out that most kids that are bullied don't walk into schools with guns. I also am not naive enough to believe that we can stop all bullying even if we add something into the curriculum. But to do nothing and pretend like it's not a problem, and to simply take the idea that 'this is just kids being kids' leads us down an ever dangerous path.
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