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Mass Media Facilitating Campus Violence

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posted on Jun, 12 2008 @ 06:16 PM

According to a study sponsored by the Secret Service and the Department of Education and obtained exclusively by ABC News, only 4 percent of the people who knew that a student intended to shoot someone tried to dissuade him -- even though previous research found that 81 percent of school shooters told classmates or teachers of their plans.

That's from this ABC News article, which I just now read. The latter half of it is a fairly standard look into how to fix the problem and where it comes from, but the first half was of particular interest, piquing here:

In May 1998, Lynn was a junior at Thurston High School in Springfield, Ore., and a teaching assistant for a freshman class. One day when the teacher was out of the room, Lynn overheard Kip Kinkel, a student in the class, mention that he wanted "to add this kid to his hit list," she told ABC News.

"I knew something was going to happen," she said. "I knew he was angry enough and he was getting tired of the bullying and the teasing, that there was going to be some sort of confrontation."

But Lynn said nothing about what she had heard.

Days later, after he shot and killed his parents at home, Kinkel went to school with a gun, killed two students and wounded 25 others. Asked why she hadn't shared her fears and Kinkel's disturbing words with school officials, Lynn responded with her own questions.

"Who knows if the principal would have taken it seriously? Who knows if the vice principal would have taken it seriously? Who knows if his parents would have taken it seriously? What if, what if, what if?" she asked. "One lesson you're taught at an early age is, it's OK to report but don't be a tattletale. Don't be your little brother's overseer and don't run to mommy every time little brother does something wrong."

It was shocking, to me, that over 3/4 of kids let in on these massacres were willing to talk to someone else about it, but only four percent made the effort to address the kid directly. What Ms. Lynn said smacks of conditioning, straight from media and pervasive throughout culture. You know, I hate to make assumptions, but it seems proper that elder ages of men would be even more afflicted with this from far more authoritative sources to them than anything we have today. Has it gotten better? They didn't exactly have the means to protest if a medieval kid went nuts except to put them on a stake.

I was hoping to find some more specific examples, archetypal through our contemporary media. The lying rat, the bratty tattle tale, the stilted killjoy, high pitched voices comedians use when they imitate their friends, etc. Anything that might imprint that mystical emotional connection so important for this kind of control.

[edit on 6/12/2008 by joecamel]

[edit on 6/12/2008 by joecamel]

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