Columbine-Type Students Are In Most High Schools
Don’t “kid” yourself. There’s trouble in paradise that escapes the vision of folks wearing rose-colored glasses. I’m not a contemporary Chicken Little running around screaming “The sky is falling!” And I’m not a little boy crying out “Wolf!”
I am a former English teacher with thirty-four years classroom experience. I’ve taught through wars, recessions, political assassinations and public anti-war protests. I’ve seen and broken-up hundreds of bloody “student” fights. I’ve been threatened by enraged “students” and by their irate “parents.” Been there; done that!
Columbine-type “students” attend most high and middle schools across ...view middle of the document...
” The kids say little or nothing at all. They keep their feelings and thoughts mainly to themselves while sitting in their desks, often seething beneath cool external façades.
Columbine-type kids seldom participate in classroom discussions or volunteer to do constructive things in school. To them athletics, school clubs and awards are not worth pursuing. Their rebellion is silent, stealthy, cold, cunning and calculated. Their ongoing rage is adroitly camouflaged; they could erupt and explode at any minute. These kids, probably around five percent of any middle or high school’s student body, are individual sticks of dynamite ready to be lit. Not even the “students’” guidance counselors have any psychological handle on what these wily youths are thinking, feeling or plotting.
The Columbine-type kid often feels picked-on, frustrated, alienated and persecuted. Bigger, tougher teens, maybe football jocks, track stars or biker-type kids take pleasure in badgering physically weaker “students.” Sooner or later there comes the straw that ruptures the camel’s spinal cord. That’s the dreadful kindling point where resentment and despair instantly transform into tragedy. Columbine-type kids don’t relish their lowly perch in the school pecking order and suddenly reach the Popeye syndrome, “That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more!”
Columbine-type kids covertly perceive weapons are equalizers that could quickly neutralize and extinguish the overt power exhibited by peer bullies. In his and her cerebral dynamics, the Columbine-like student needs to empower themselves to stand-up to insensitive, arrogant peer adversaries. A gun or a knife could easily accomplish that objective and instantaneously narrow the gap.
Parents should discourage bullying, especially in this treacherous and unpredictable day and age. The hazing all too frequently results in lethal situations. Bullies have got to learn that a weakling’s concealed gun could discharge bullets that travel a lot faster than fists do. This is the risk that a bully now faces when he or she antagonizes a Columbine-type kid; dishing out humiliation might literally trigger your own elimination.
Columbine-type “students” are often lone wolves. The disturbed kids don’t like themselves, don’t like school, don’t like normal kids, don’t like normal activities and certainly don’t like authority figures like teachers and policemen giving them directions or making demands that seem contrary to their wills. When their fuse reach their ignition point, their solution to their torment is to blow up the school and take everybody (or as many as possible) to the Eternity Hotel with them. That is their quick and violent answer to the emotional anguish that they perpetually silently feel.
I recall a particular eight grade’ student I had taught in the early 1980s. I remember walking up and down the aisles of Room 103 of the middle school while monitoring an English literature silent reading activity. I...