• John Byrnes April 14, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Research has determined that from the Moment of Commitment (the point when a student pulls their weapon) to the Moment of Completion (when the last round is fired) is only 5 seconds. If it is the intent of a school district to react to this violence, they will do so over the wounded and/or slain bodies of students, teachers and administrators.

    Educational institutions clearly want safe and secure schools. Administrators are perennially queried by parents about the safety of their schools. The commonplace answers, intended to reassure anxious parents, focus on the school resource officers and emergency procedures. While useful, these less than adequate efforts do not begin to provide a definitive answer to preventing school violence, nor do they make a school safe and secure.

    Traditionally school districts have relied upon the mental health community or local police to keep schools safe, yet one of the key shortcomings has been the lack of a system that involves teachers, administrators, parents and students in the identification and communication process. Recently, colleges, universities and community colleges are forming Behavioral Intervention Teams with representatives from all these constituencies. Higher Education has changed their safety/security policies, procedures, or surveillance systems, yet K-12 have yet to incorporate Behavioral Intervention Teams. K-12 schools continue spending excessive amounts of money to put in place many of the physical security options. Sadly, they are reactionary only and do little to prevent aggression because they are designed exclusively to react to existing conflict, threat and violence. These schools reflect a national blindspot, which prefers hardening targets through enhanced security versus preventing violence with efforts directed at aggressors. Security gets all the focus and money, but this only makes us feel safe, rather than to actually make us safer.

    Some law enforcement agencies use profiling as a means to identify an aggressor. According to the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education’s report on Targeted Violence in Schools, there is a significant difference between “profiling” and identifying and measuring emerging aggression; “The use of profiles is not effective either for identifying students who may pose a risk for targeted violence at school or – once a student has been identified – for assessing the risk that a particular student may pose for school-based targeted violence.” It continues; “An inquiry should focus instead on a student’s behaviors and communications to determine if the student appears to be planning or preparing for an attack.” We can and must assess objective, culturally neutral, identifiable criteria of emerging aggression.

    For a comprehensive look at the problem and its solution,

  • Amy Philo April 14, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    I just sent this to USA Today:

    Dear USA Today, Greg Toppo, and Marylin Elias:

    Re: http://www.usatoday .com/news/ nation/2009- 04-13-columbine- myths_N.htm? se=yahoorefer

    Sometimes police officers make mistakes, but your “sources” for your Columbine article notwithstanding, this is the most irresponsible and utterly false piece of journalism I have ever seen. Columbine, like almost every other school shooting, took place for one reason only and that is because of violence-inducing antidepressants or other dangerous psychotropic drugs.

    I just noticed on the FRONT PAGE of Yahoo News the bogus piece of reporting you are publicizing. I don’t even have the patience to read the whole thing. Once I read that you claim that “police now say” the boys were not taking antidepressants, I can barely stand to look at the article. It sickens me to think that Yahoo News & USA Today would attempt to spread rumors and rewrite history. But I have seen this type of claim before and it’s obviously a desperate tactic taken when people start hearing the truth and the mental health industry is searching for some kind of foothold to convince people that the antidepressants didn’t play a role in someone’s death.

    What really sickens me is the amount of absolute disregard for the lives of children it would take to publish these lies. Our schools and our children are put in greater danger now because your article will take hold and spread rumors that are completely false, and yet I have serious doubts that anyone at your paper would care. Next time we have a school shooting (hey, there’s probably one happening right now), maybe you should issue a preemptive press release stating that the shooter was not on antidepressants – before you even check to see if that’s true, because you feel that if he or she were, then it wouldn’t have happened.

    I suppose you could then start reporting that Andrea Yates was not on a bunch of psych meds when she drowned her kids, that Kurt Cobain had not just been in the psych ward and escaped to kill himself while under the influence of psych drugs, that Phil Hartman’s wife Brynn was not on Zoloft when she shot him, or that Ernest Hemingway never got Electroshocked right before he killed himself. Maybe next you can claim that 9/11 never even happened, given the level of fiction you choose to report as fact.

    Check the court records of the lawsuit referenced below concerning the victims suing the manufacturer of Luvox which Eric Harris was on. According to the accounts and records obtained about both Harris and Klebold, both boys took at least two antidepressants each. I urge you to print a correction immediately.

    You don’t have to bother trying to convince me that they were not on the meds, or that meds don’t cause violence. I know the truth and will tell it. I have been on Zoloft myself and I know it causes homicidal urges becuase I lived it. The only thing I am left wondering about your paper is how much you were paid or who directed this article to be written.

    Have a “nice” day.


    Amy Philo


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