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Lesson Plans


Avengers/ School violence

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Stenger - Judith DiSalvo (jstenger)
Mon, 26 Apr 1999 18:04:50 -0400 (EDT)


This was on our school system network. Food for thought.
Judy
______________________________________________________________________
On APRIL 22, 1999, AGGIE ALVEZ (Compliance Officer in the Department of
Human Relations) WRITES:

A couple of us just returned from a conference where Dr. McGee, a forensic
psychologist from Sheppard Pratt was already scheduled to discuss violence
in
the schools. He does extensive work with the FBI and did a presentation
regard
ing 12 of the last major incidents involving violence in schools (Colorado
not included). His research shows that the "Classroom Avenger" as he
calls these students
share aremarkably similar profile to the "Workplace Avenger." He drew a
profile
of the classroom avenger -- based on his research of these 12 incidents
(including Oregon, Paducah, etc.). Some of his significant GENERAL
findings:

Sex: Male
Race: White
Age: 15 (ages range from 11 - 17)
Location: South and Northwest (rural communities)
Socioeconomic: Middle class or blue collar

- No history of mental illness, schizophrenia, etc.
- No previous police involvement regarding any kind of violent behavior
- No identification as special education or special needs
- No academic difficulties
- No family history of abuse or sexual abuse or evidence of domestic
violence
-Evidence of subtle dysfunction in the family -- inconsistent discipline,
divorce, anger
-Put down by peers -- seen as the "geeks" or "nerds"
-Put down by peers -- seen as the "geeks" or "nerds"
-Rejected by a real or imaginary girlfriend (they often think if a girl
looks back -- she must like the boy -- but it's delusional)
- Join a group that is out of the mainstream because of rejection by other
peers
-Intense interest in violence -- books, movies, video games, etc.
-Some had a bizzare sexual experience
-Subjected to discipline by parents or rejection by peers in a short time
frame before the incident
- ACCESS TO GUNS IN THE HOUSE

In addition, in ALL 12 cases -- the students had communicated their intent
to people who were not their targets!!! Dr. McGee said that the more
"multimedia" their communications were -- the greater likelihood that the
act
would be committed.
For example, telling someone, as well as writing it in a journal, as well
as communicating by e-mail, etc.

These kids suffered from atypical depression -- they weren't sad, didn't
express sadness, but were sullen, moody and angry.

These kids were colicky and did not like to be touched at an early age.
-
That's all that I can remember off the top of my head. It was a
fascinating and timely presentation. As you all have said, it's too early
to draw any
conclusions from Colorado until all of the facts are in.

These kids who engage in predatory violence -- similar to the
-stereotypical office employee who goes on a rampage -- are very, very
different from the student committing other kinds of violent acts. It's
hard
to say whether a conflict management program or anti-violence program
would
have had any impact. I was left with the impression that Dr. McGee
thought
that the solution did not lie within the brains of the students or trying
to change them. However, he did emphasize several times -- that the
perpetrators COMMUNICATED THEIR INTENT TO THEIR PEERS BEFORE THE INCIDENT
-- often more than once and in different kinds of formats. How
many of those peers took that information to an adult? aa
-