Beginning in the late 1990s, it seemed an epidemic hit American schools: young men walking into educational institutions armed with guns and bombs then turning them on their classmates and teachers. Scholars, youth workers and advocates, and the media scrambled to find targets to blame for this perceived increase in violence among young people.
Heavy metal music, violent films and video games, cults and other cultural influences were indicted. Access to guns, bullying, low self-esteem, child abuse, and lack of preparedness on the part of school administrators were cited as well.
Now, parental advisory warning labels come on video games, anti-bullying campaigns have been installed along with surveillance cameras, security officers, metal detectors, and mental health counselors, but has any of this been effective? Are there changes that still must be made?
Only in more recent years has a gendered pattern been recognized. Young men are primarily the perpetrators and their targets are often female. What is the relevance of the gender component to these shootings?
Statistically, our children are safer in school than they are at home, church or the mall. However, do we feel secure sending them to their schools? Do they feel safe when they’re there?
Join us this week at Café Society to discuss these pressing issues.
- Our Schools Are Generally Safe
- School Shootings and White Denial
- Youth in the Media: Resource Framing the Issue
- Shootings shake state schools
- School Violence and the Media
For more informaiton, please contact Kristin Millikan at 312.422.5580.