The shooting at Columbine High School riveted national attention on violence in the nation's schools. This dramatic example signaled an implicit and growing fear that these events would continue to occur—and even escalate in scale and severity.
How do we make sense of the tragedy of a school shooting or even draw objective conclusions from these incidents? Deadly Lessons is the outcome of the National Research Council's unique effort to glean lessons from six case studies of lethal student violence. These are powerful stories of parents and teachers and troubled youths, presenting the tragic complexity of the young shooter's social and personal circumstances in rich detail.
The cases point to possible causes of violence and suggest where interventions may be most effective. Readers will come away with a better understanding of the potential threat, how violence might be prevented, and how healing might be promoted in affected communities.
For each case study, Deadly Lessons relates events leading up to the violence, provides quotes from personal interviews about the incident, and explores the impact on the community. The case studies center on:
For everyone who puzzles over these terrible incidents, Deadly Lessons offers a fresh perspective on the most fundamental of questions: Why?
National Research Council. 2003. Deadly Lessons: Understanding Lethal School Violence. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/10370.
|Part I: Case Studies of Lethal School Violence
|2. The Copycat Factor: Mental Illness, Guns, and the Shooting Incident at Heritage High School, Rockdale County, Georgia
|3. Bad Things Happen in Good Communities: The Rampage Shooting in Edinboro, Pennsylvania, and Its Aftermath
|4. A Deadly Partnership: Lethal Violence in an Arkansas Middle School
|5. No Exit: Mental Illness, Marginality, and School Violence in West Paducah, Kentucky
|6. Shooting at Tilden High: Causes and Consequences
|7. What Did Ian Tell God?: School Violence in East New York
|8. A Cross-Case Analysis
|Part II: Understanding and Preventing Lethal School Violence
|9. Lethal School Violence in Statistical Context
|10. Literature Review
|11. Response Strategies: Observations on Causes, Interventions, and Research
|Appendix A: Case Study Methodology and the Study of Rare Events of Extreme Youth Violence: A Multilevel Framework for Discovery
|Appendix B: Biographical Sketches
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