Peer Intervention In School Shootings

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It is very difficult to respond rationally to a national tragedy. For the past two decades the United States has been confronting what appears to be an increasing epidemic school violence, with each additional instance inspiring an ever more rehearsed debate about gun control, mental health, and school security. Many of the proposed solutions to these attacks are hastily composed in the days following an attack, and are based primarily on myths rather than facts. If we intend to improve the situation, we must take a far more measured approach. We must combat this issue based not on our fears, but based on evidence and best-practice. Let’s first discuss some of the common characteristics among shooters. Shooters typically have more than one…show more content…
It is hard to determine all of the reasons why some peers who have prior knowledge of an attack do not come forward, however Fein’s research shows that schools which have healthy relationships between administrators and students have higher rates of reports. In the instances where attacks are avoided because a student came forward with information, it is because there were strong, existing, lines of communication, and positive relationships between students and…show more content…
Roy High School in Roy, Utah, is a notable example of a school that avoided a devastating attack due to student awareness, healthy communication between students and effective investigation. In the PBS documentary, “The Path to Violence” Megan Wehrman recounts receiving text messages one evening from a friend, in which he told her that he and another student were planning something, and that if he ever told her not to go to school one day, she should listen. Early the next morning, after sharing the story with her brother, he encouraged her to tell the school’s principal. Shortly thereafter, the local police department began an investigation, and questioned the boys involved. They learned that the boys were planning to bomb the school. They intended to place two timed explosives in populated locations inside the school. Upon setting the explosives they intended to leave the area, and expected not to be linked to the attack. The investigators found that the boys had been obsessed with school shootings and bombings. One of the two boys had even secretly flown to Columbine, without his family’s knowledge, to interview school staff and victims of the attack. The trip served to provide inspiration and insight for planning his own
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