Note: To protect the privacy of our members, e-mail addresses have been removed from the archived messages. As a result, some links may be broken.
Is it too simplistic to presume that this violence is perhaps an attempt to
gain attention, control, respect? Is it an attempt to "prove" something, to
The reason I ask this is because I suspect that perhaps one of the most
dangerous attitudes teachers and parents can adopt is, "I don't really think
this kid is capable of actually killing anyone." A teacher in my school
district has a resource student who talks about guns quite a bit, jokes about
killing people, and even goes so far as to do the pointed-finger, "POW!
POW!" gesture. She says, "I don't actually think he is capable . . . ."
Kids know when adults don't take them seriously. They know when they are
being ignored. Doesn't the "he isn't capable" attitude on the part of adults
amount to a challenge to the child, a challenge to make people listen, create
a situation that cannot be ignored?
A therapist on MSNBC said we should stop referring to incidents like
Littleton as "senseless" tragedies. Events like this are tragic, but, as he
put it, they only seem senseless because we are not really looking to the
causes of this kind of violence. We need to ask the difficult questions of
ourselves. What have we ignored? What have we contributed to the suffering
of the young people around us by our inactivity when we have sensed, deep
down, that something wasn't quite right.
Your contributions here have helped push us towards a greater understanding
of this terrible situation.