Saturday, February 17, 2018

Elementary and High School Shootings in USA

Nadene Goldfoot                                             
As a retired teacher, I am in shock over school shootings at elementary schools.  We certainly are developing a sick society.

Just how many schools have gone through this and since when is in question.    The first school to suffer from attack with 10 deaths  happened in 1764 on July 26th, when schools are not necessarily open for studies.  Maybe they were back then, but it was the Delaware Indians who did it in Pennsylvania.  The school probably looked like any log cabin to them.  In 1893 on March 26th the high school in  Plain Dealing, Bossier Parrish, Louisiana was attacked resulting in 4 deaths.  That same year of 1893 also suffered a 2nd shooting in Charleston, South Carolina on December 13th with 6 deaths.  May 6, 1940 in Pasadena, California another shooting resulted in 5 deaths at a junior high with the principal being the shooter!

1998 was when another school shooting occurred.  It was on March 24th when two students of Westside Middle School in Arkansas  (junior high) went on a rampage and 5 were killed by them.

Then another shooting happened  on May 21, 1998 at  Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon which is just outside of Eugene with 4 dead.  An expelled  student killed his parents first and then attacked the school.  It seems that more steps should be taken before expelling a student since the most recent 19 year old killer was also shooting after being expelled.

America has now heard what upset students do, and other maladjusted students are taking notice and filing this act away in their minds as a last resort for them,  too.

The very next year of 1999 on April 20th, we all heard and saw on TV the Columbine Massacre with 15 deaths.  The number shocked the public.  It happened in Colorado.  Evidently our culture is not meeting the needs of its young people as we do have some who are disturbed and attending school.  That's why we have counselors in most schools today.  They serve their districts in academic ways, of course, like finding colleges for high school graduates and such.  They are ones who usually speak with all the teachers about their students, and that can be passed onto the principal if necessary.  Between the principal and the Counselor, someone should be able to be on the line with their local Police Dept. to put out a red marker on these disturbed students who might take negative action. Counselors should also be in close touch with parents.

Things were settled down until March 21, 2005 on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in Minnesota when 10 deaths occurred.  A 16 year old killed his policeman grandfather and girlfriend, took his weapon and went to the high school by driving his grandfather's car, and wearing his police vest.  Again, this student was not a regular student but had  either been expelled or just hadn't attended for some months.

An Amish one-room schoolhouse was even attacked on October 2, 2006 which is the West Nickel Mines School shooting causing 6 dead.  This is in a village in Pennsylvania.  10 girls, ages 6 to 13 were there, and he shot 8 of them.  This was an adult who shot the girls, a father himself.

The gunman, identified as Charles Roberts IV, was a milk tanker truck driver who served several Amish farms in the Nickel Mines area (including some of the victims' families). He had three children and a wife.  What was the pressures he had to cause such a snap.  He was working and living in a very forgiving environment.  

2012  was the next year on December 14 with the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting leaving 28 dead.  This was in Connecticut and the shooter was 20 years old who first shot his mother in her home. .  20 of the  children were between 6 and 7 years old.  The others were adult staff people at the school.  He then killed himself.  He was certainly a sick, sick, sick man.

October 24, 2014 was the next date when  Marysville Pitchuck High School  in Washington had a shooting that left 5 dead.  A 15 year old Freshman shot 4 other students and then himself.   15 is rather old for a freshman.  I remember that I was 13.  There's a problem right there.  This student was having academic problems, for one.  He was clever, though.  He arranged to get his targets at one cafeteria table, then walked up to them.  " He then pulled out a .40-caliber Beretta Px4 Storm handgun and fired at least eight shots."

November 14, 2017 was the date of the Rancho Tehama Reserve, California  shootings which left 6 dead.  This was during a spree that included an elementary school.  The killer was 44 years old and just let out of jail and on bail.  "At the time of the spree, Neal had been freed on bail pending trial for two alleged felonies, and five alleged misdemeanors."  There's always this anger and wanting to get even with society.  

Now we come to the latest killing; of February 14th, 2018, Valentine's Day, a day of love and boyfriends and girlfriends.  It was so fun to be in class on those days when you received valentines out of the class Valentine box.  Who loved you?  The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Florida    shootings left 17 dead and 14 wounded by a 19 year old who was expelled from school for his behavior.  He was captured alive and is in jail.  Again, he was too old to have been a senior.  18 is the usual age.  He was not the brightest in class, either, but certainly planned this shooting quite well.  To me, he lacked empathy for animals that he had killed and for fellow students.  I wonder what happened to his biological parents that caused him and his sibling to be put up for adoption?  What happened to his adoptive mother since she recently died and of which he was upset about?  He had expressed the desire to be the shooter killing the most in a school shooting.  He probably did reach this goal.  Now, he's an adult at 19 and has killed on purpose 17 beloved children.  How is the state going to deal with this?  

There have been other shootings at colleges.  I'm just dealing with grade schools to high schools in this.  To want to kill young children should be in a class itself.   They are the innocent until adulthood of 18.  These are the ones that get the most attention on the news, as it is unheard of to want to kill children.  I can't help thinking that if guns were out of reach for these unstable killers, they'll use knives.  That's what has happened in Israel, especially in Jerusalem.  Children will be vulnerable on the playgrounds, for sure.  This even happened to one of our Senators who was practicing for a baseball game.  At least with a knife, a killer can't cause the havoc that guns have.  Best yet, stop people from becoming killers in the first place, and a pill or a drink  or a cigarette is not the answer, either.  


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