Cause Of School Shootings

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School shootings, specifically those dramatic in nature, disrupt the universally accepted belief that schools are a safe haven for kids. No matter how horrible a child’s home life is, school is meant to not only educate, but also protect students. School shootings challenge this belief. People constantly search for answers to these acts of violence. Society will often blame mature video games, bullying, and stress. However, these factors are merely scapegoats for the actual cause of school violence. Mental illness and neglect by psychologists, peers, and family members are the true causes of school shootings. One notorious school shooting was the University of Texas Massacre. In the early morning hours of August 1, 1966, Charles Whitman killed…show more content…
Brenda Spencer, a sixteen year old girl living with her father in San Diego, began shooting at the Cleveland Elementary school on January 29, 1979. Spencer, a skilled sniper, shot from the roof of her home, which was across the street from Cleveland Elementary. Although there were only two deaths and nine non-fatal injuries, the Cleveland Elementary School shooting caused an uproar in America. Spencer was not the typical school shooting perpetrator, which worried American citizens. She did not attend Cleveland Elementary, she was not bullied, she was female 2. However, just like Charles Whitman, Brenda Spencer was mentally ill. Spencer began displaying disturbing behavior after her parents divorced. Custody of Spencer was granted to her father, Wallace Spencer. The family lived in poverty; they slept on a single mattress on the floor. Spencer’s father was an alcoholic and drug addict, and Spencer also began substance abuse in her teens. Due to these many factors, Spencer became depressed and discussed having had thoughts of suicide. She also felt neglected by her father, stating “I felt like he wanted me to kill myself” (Cleveland Elementary School shooting (San Diego)). Spencer was tried as an adult for her crime and sentenced to twenty-five years to life. She is currently still serving her sentence. While in prison, she was diagnosed with epilepsy and put on proper medication for her depression. On the day…show more content…
The Virginia Tech Massacre left thirty-two people dead and seventeen wounded, surpassing the University of Texas Massacre and making it the deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in U.S history (Virginia tech shooting). The deadly incident alarmed the United States and caused many citizens to question the need for heavier restrictions on firearms. Seung-Hui Cho, a senior at Virginia tech, was the shooter; he took his own life after committing the thirty-two previous murders. Cho was born in South Korea and diagnosed with severe depression and selective mutism, an anxiety disorder that inhibited his speech. Cho was offered professional help and prescription medication to aide him with his disorders throughout middle and high school, although his symptoms began to worsen while he was at Virginia Tech. Cho eventually stopped seeing his doctor altogether and discontinued the use of medication. Teachers and peers reported that Cho, an English major, wrote several angry and disturbing papers for class3. The gunman was involved in two separate stalking incidents, in which he harassed and followed two female students. Because of this, Cho was investigated by the university and declared mentally ill. Cho was obviously in desperate need of medical attention, but none was adequately given to him. Instead, he was pushed further and

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