Mass School Shootings in America Essay

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American schools became dangerous places at the end of the twentieth century. Children as young as twelve and thirteen came to school not to study but to shoot as many people as possible. Even as these students transformed schools into war zones, teachers and other students did what they could to restore order and to save lives. In doing so, they became unlikely heroes on America’s latest battlefield. Although violence in schools is nothing new, multiple shootings are. According to the 1999 Annual Report on School Violence, the number of such shootings increased from one in 1994-95 to five in 1997-98. Tragically, the epidemic of violence continued, and in December 1999, one television newscast called a shooting in Oklahoma the ninth …show more content…
One such case occurred in Moses Lake, Washington, in February 1996 when Barry Loukaitis killed a “popular boy who had teased him” (Egan). But he also killed another student and a teacher. Asked why he shot the other two, Loukaikis was not able to give any reason. He said mysteriously, “I don’t know. I guess reflex took over” (Egan). If revenge is sometimes a motive, it is clearly not the only one. Failed romantic relationships also seem to motivate some shootings, although most romances seem too casual to explain this level of violence. According to some experts, teenagers—especially those who come from “fractured” families—“depend more on each other than [on] their parents” (Lore A1). As a result, they may feel the sting of rejection more deeply than they would otherwise. This emotional pain may lead to violence. One such case may have occurred in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Mitchell Johnson listed the names of a teacher and four girls whom he planned to kill, including his ex-girlfriend (Bragg, “Jonesboro Dazed”). A student in Pearl, Mississippi killed his mother with a butcher knife and shot nine students. Two died, and one of them was a former girlfriend (Helmore). Sometimes, immaturity or mental illness played an undeniable role. Such was certainly the case at an alternative school in DeKalb County, Georgia, where a student gunned down Horace Pierpont (“Bucky”) Morgan. Morgan—who taught reading, poetry, and creative

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