In 1999, Columbine High school wrote its name in infamy. Columbine has become the rallying cry for harassed teens wanting bloody revenge. Two white boys, outcasts and bullied, shot down 11 students and faculty to death. They wounded or maimed dozens of others. Their murders had racist and sexist indicators. Athletes, females and black students received gruesome treatment. Several were shot at point-blank range with the assailants’ automatic weapons.
Because of Columbine, we have Louisana Tech. Because of Columbine, we have Northern Illinois University. Because of Columbine, we have Virginia Tech. We have over 40 more dead students and faculty because of Columbine’s “blueprint”.
America’s gun culture has desensitized violence. Television, video and internet have made seeing more violent images possible. Young people are being enlisted to fight in an unpopular war. Young people are being taught to not show emotions or act with sensitivity. Being sensitive and compassionate has become “effenimate” and “unmasculine”. But, males aren’t the only students being affected.
Females, vying for men’s affection or overall popularity, have also become physcially aggressive. Girls have embraced being bullies themselves. Girl gangs or posses harass and intimidate weaker or helpless females. Some male students took to instigating confrontations and “memorializing” beatdowns on video. YouTube has several incidents of attacks in schools, outside or inside the victim’s own home.
Earlier this year, a high-school girl in Texas suffered a fatal beating by four adolescents. She was a victim of a set-up by her supposed, male love interest. He led his admirer into a clearing where his girlfriend and two others waited. In the end, her mangled body was later found days later. Four people received long, prison terms for second-degree murder.
No longer are issues settled with talking or with one-on-one fistfights. Disputes are now settled with murder plots. Disgruntled students, angry about receiving low test scores, put together “hit lists” naming teachers and principals to kill. The murders at Dartmouth (2003) are examples of these.
Our schools are turning into fortified camps with on-duty, police officers and armed security patrolling the grounds. Metal detectors are now “greeters” where teachers once were. Occasionally, lockers are searched for contraband, such as drugs or weapons. The Patriot Act replaced civil liberties. Terrorism isn’t reserved for only airplanes and World Trade Centers.
Before Columbine, school was much simplier then.
Sources: YouTube (for videos displaying girl gang attacks)
Dr. Phil Show (September 2008): Dr. Phil NOW (Bullying)
MSN video: “We Are Virginia Tech”
Allpoetry.com: “Hokies for Huskies”: Virginia Tech students sympathize with NIU (Northern Illinois University) victims