When children commit a horrible act such as a school shooting their parents often look for someone or something to blame rather than looking at what role they, as parents, may have had in the tragedy. The often targeted entertainers, video game developers, teachers, drug companies, and writers are rarely, if ever, responsible for such tragic outcomes and, unfortunately, often become victims as a result of lawsuits filed in an attempt to place blame on them. The parents of dangerous children must be scrutinized and sued alongside every other entity being blamed for the heinous crimes that children commit.
When 2 young men, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, went on a shooting spree in Littleton, Colorado, killing 15 people, including …show more content…
Before the 1999 Columbine tragedy, there was the 14-year-old boy in Paducah, Kentucky who, in 1997, went on a shooting spree at his local school. Parents of 3 of the shooting victims filed lawsuits against 25 media companies seeking $130 million in damages, citing that the shooter, Michael Carneal, learned how to shoot a gun by playing video and computer games. The lawsuits further implied that violent movies and internet pornography were to blame for the boy’s behavior (Holmstrom, par. 6).
In both the Columbine and the Paducah, Kentucky cases the parents of the shooters were sued on the grounds that they should have known, and prevented, the tragedies from occurring. According to an article written by Mark Walsh regarding the Paducah shooting, a state-law negligence suit “named 45 defendants, including McCracken County…teachers…who allegedly failed to interpret “warning signals” [referring to a paper that Carneal had written depicting a fictitious school shooting] that 14-year-old Michael Carneal would go on a murderous rampage” (Walsh, par. 4). The case against the employees of the McCracken County School District was dismissed by Judge William Shadoan, citing, “We cannot expect those teachers and administrators to be psychiatrists, lawyers, psychologists, or physicians” (Walsh, par. 15). These school employees should have never been put in the position to have to defend themselves against such
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Also, newspapers focused on video games being the major explanation for school shootings. However, “Some stories mentioned other explanations… but these were treated mostly as minor factors compared with video games” (pg.14). Much less attention were given to the other reasons.
day two seniors Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris carried out a full blown assault on the school during school hours with hundreds of kids and teachers present” (Levy, 1999). These two had a plan to kill as many people as they possibly could. They had multiple guns and explosives as they patrolled the halls looking for their victims. By the time the situation was resolved they had murdered 12 students and 1 teacher before they killed themselves.
Over the past couple of decades, school shooting have seemed to occur often-- continuously shocking the nation and reminding everyone that no community is exempt from such horror. One main contributor of this hysteria is found within the media. At the catalyst of this hysteria, lies the horrific Columbine shooting in 1999. Since then, school shootings have received ample coverage-- some argue that this has romanticized school shootings, others argue that is has provided condemning coverage of the often insane perpetrators. In the first year after the Columbine shooting, over 10,000 articles were written about the event, likely setting the stage for the nationwide desire for constant coverage of such events (Elsass et al, p. 445-446).
Sadly, we have all heard about the high number of mass shootings that suddenly occurred during the last five years, but perhaps what really shook the nation were the shootings which involved children. One shooting which took place in Colorado Springs, wherein a man with a gun decided to walk into a Planned Parenthood clinic and began firing shots, killing three people and injuring nine. The people who were killed and injured were all innocent victims who died at the hands of an obvious mentally ill person. (Los Angeles Times, “Deadliest U.S. Mass Shootings”).
Tuesday April 20th, 1999 began like any other day. Parents went to work, and the children went off to school. Neither worried about the other, or how their day would turn out. But, hours later everything changed (“Columbine Highschool Massacre.”). Little did the residents of Columbine, Colorado know their high school would be a statistic for one of the largest school massacres in US History. On this day, two teenage boys were responsible for killing 12 innocent students and a teacher, wounding 23 more students, and then killing themselves (Miller). While a horrific event, the Columbine tragedy improved the safety in schools by upgrading security systems, improving administration’s knowledge on school security, and increasing
This nationwide panic of school shootings and juveniles synonymous with “folk devils” can be shown using the five features presented by Goode and Ben-Yehuda (Steeves and Milford, 2015). There was initial concern, as several high profile incidents occurred within a period from late 1997 until the Columbine shootings on April 20, 1999 (Burns and Crawford, 1999). The media played a key role by describing the horrifying accounts after each shooting to the public, while they also advertised the funerals of victims throughout social media, radios, and televisions (Burns and Crawford, 1999). Much of the concern is depicted through the actions taken, by “hiring additional security guards”, “installing metal detectors in schools”, and creating “school lockdown procedures” (Burns and Crawford, 1999, p. 152) to name a few. Next was hostility, shown through the “punitive and restrictive responses”, implemented and directed towards “juvenile delinquents” (Burns and Crawford, 1999, p. 153). It became a felony to “expose children to books, movies, and video games that contain explicit sex or violence” (Burns and Crawford, 1999, p. 152). Fueled by the words of Juvenile Magistrate Deborah Robertson, Reverend Mark Clark, and
When school shootings occur, the individual that brings the weapon to school should be the one punished. However, when the parents irresponsibly leave a firearm unlocked they should face a punishment as well. “68% of school
On April 20, 1999, two students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who attended Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado went on a shooting spree, leaving thirteen dead and twenty wounded before turning the guns on themselves and committing suicide. This attack would go down as the single worst school shooting in United States history and the shooting spread fear in people across the nation and caused a rise in security. Schools across America introduced new security measures such as metal detectors, dress codes and I.D. badges. Despite the fear left in many people they were still asking several questions: How could two kids do such a horrific act? Was bullying to blame for this attack? Could attacks like these be prevented?
One of the most horrific shootings that scared America was the Columbine High School shooting of 1999. Though not the first mass shooting, this shooting was the first major school shooting with the death of 12 students, 1 teacher, and 21 injured. The two shooters were Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris. Both of the killers were white, male, and 18. They had both parents, were both a part of an
Seventy-two analogous cases. 89 killed. 126 injured. Every single shot fired was an indirect result of the Columbine shooting (“The Columbine effect,” 2015). On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold opened fire on Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado with semiautomatic weapons and homemade bombs.
The 20th of April was the anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. The shooting deaths of 12 students and 1 teacher—and the two suicides of the teenage executioners and left many others psychologically and physically damaged. Who’s to blame? , On the issue of blame, of this massacre it is not music, or video games, and not even movies, it’s the shooters because everybody is responsible own actions. However, the parents could have been more involved in their lives. What parent wouldn’t notice their child listening to groups like Marilyn Manson, or I.C.P. (or known as Insane Clown Possie)(both band lyrics are filled with violence). Although, they were not totally accepted by
The name Klebold has stunned the world with tragic flashbacks of this country’s worst school shootings massacre ever. But the misery is not over, escapilly for the shooter’s parents. Sue Klebold and her family had suffered for their child awful crime and became the escape-goats when Dylan was not able to. Imagine, being too scared to walk about of your house and being entirely haunted by the guilt that you created a monster. A monster that took a total of 13 lives. Yet, despite the actions of another being out of her control she is still seen as a monster herself because she could not see the signs early enough from her baby boy. In a CNN article “That includes more than 30 lawsuits filed by the parents of those killed or injured during the Columbine shooting aimed at the families of those directly responsible for the massacre. In those instances, the families of the shooters ended up settling with the families of the victims for an estimated $2.53 million combined” ( Ball, 2014). Why should the family suffer for the awful actions of their child? And what good would that money do? Money cannot change the events, only hide the suffering.
It is without a doubt that there has been an increase in violent crimes in schools throughout recent years. School shootings continue to become more and more common, especially in North America. Safety concerns for any and all students and staff in schools are at all all time high due to the high number of fatal and non-fatal occurring incidences. Since 2013 to the present, it is estimated that the United States has seen approximately 205 school shootings. Weekly, that is a shocking one shooting on average. Many of these shootings have resulted in the injuries and deaths of multiple of students and staff members. (Everytown Research, 2017) Evidently, school shootings are tragic events that affect so many more people than just the victims. However, these events are also interesting to look at from the psychological and sociological point of views. Through much research, it can be concluded that school shootings are a complex problem that are caused by a mix of improper brain development and societal and media influences which motivate school shooters to emerge. Psychological factors may include struggling with mental illnesses and/or abuse that leads to damaged brain development. Additionally, being bullied and/or the role of the media are examples of sociological factors.
Despite the fact Anders Behring Breivik did not cause a school shooting, Breivik shot and killed sixty-eight people at a youth camp relating to the ways of killing bystanders in Call of Duty. Chris Harper-Mercer was another school shooter addicted to violent video games and learned to kill on the internet. Not only did Harper-Mercer share his massacre plan on an online chat room, but the others in the room encouraged him to do it too. After the event, the chat room still buzzed about the killings and even praised Harper-Mercer. “That score, ouch. Not even double digits on current reports,” was one of the online comments. People were complaining how disappointing Harper-Mercer’s “death toll score” was nine lives. The nation cannot ignore the “obvious link” connecting school shootings with violent video games
Jaclyn is an assistant professor of public justice at the State University of New York at Oswego. The author’s research interests focus on school and mass shootings in the United States regarding crime statistics, media representations, security and prevention, legislative responses, and other important considerations that impact individuals and communities struck by these tragedies. Jaymi Elsass is a professor in the Criminal Justice Department at Texas State University, San Marcos, TX. Also, she is a lecturer and doctoral candidate in the School of Criminal Justice at Texas State University. Her primary research interests include episodic violent crime, moral panics, fear of crime, and juvenile delinquency. Mark Stafford is a professor at