In recent years school violence has reached an all-time high in the United States, and no one is quite sure why. The disturbing events that have happened in schools such as Columbine and Mantee are not simple cases of bullying and petty fights. They are premeditated acts of murder whose victims are selected at random. These events are truly tragic and deadly. The shootings have left parents, educators, and entire communities struggling to answer many questions, foremost, "How can we prevent these violent acts?" (Bender, Shubert, McLaughlin). The route of the cause for so many violent outbursts among American students is shady, but experts have begun to compile data that demonstrates who is at risk for acting out with violence, which in itself has been determined to be the best way to prevent it in the first place. The key to preventing such severe violence is identifying the kids who pose the risk.
A tentative outline of similarities among all recent school shootings sheds some light on the matter of just who is at risk. All perpetrators:
*Demonstrated to family and friends signs of serious emotional problems, although none were ever classified as having such.
*Were almost completely alienated from family and friends
*Each had warned others in advance of the violence by talking about killing in some context.
*Each perpetrator was a white male
*Each was average or above average in intelligence, although did not perform well in school
*Each was very deliberate in their violent actions the day of the shootings.
This list of similarities is the basis for the development of a profile of a potential school shooter. Educators and experts nation-wide have finally resolved on a basic outline. All teachers and administrators are now in the process of learning how to identify at-risk youth using...