The bullied school shooter myth still needs busting even in 2014

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In the wake of the Marysville-Pilchuck High School shooting Vox.com looked into the bullied school shooter stereotype. What did they come up with? I think the title of the article kind of gives it away.

“Think school shooters are usually bullied and unpopular? You’re wrong.”

It makes me wonder if people will read it with an open mind or just dismiss it so they can continue to live with a comfortable lie.

Anyway, friend of the site, and Columbine author, Dave Cullen was interviewed for the article and once again brought his A-game to the discussion when it came to discussing the Columbine cowards.

“Everybody knows who commits these kind of murders. They’re outcasts, typically goth or other sorts of kids that dress funny and live on the fringes,” Cullen said. “That’s well known. It’s also wrong.”

“It’s complete nonsense,” Cullen said. Both shooters had a healthy circle of friends. Their social calendars, which were released to the public, were “packed.” They went bowling every Friday, and they typically occupied four lanes — enough for 16 people.

There’s also “no compelling evidence,” Cullen explained, that the shooters were bullied more than anyone else or that bullying drove them to the shootings. “We have their journals and videos,” Cullen said, adding that they “never mention bullying” directed at the shooters.

The article goes on to state that depression and mental illness are the main causes of school shootings. It was suggested that schools should hand out questionnaires to students to monitor for signs of depression. I’m afraid that while it may assist in getting some kids some help there are definite flaws by doing this. The first that a lot of kids with problems at home will lie so their parents won’t be notified by the school. Another problem is that any kid with depression will be labeled a potential school shooter and that doesn’t help anyone. Lastly, I don’t want to see depression become an excuse at trial for criminal behavior like bullying and Asperger’s have become in the years since Columbine.

Getting back to the bullying aspect I also wanted to add that this article is a great example of how school shootings have actually done a disservice to the victims of bullying. As I’ve said before now people are more concerned about finding the next shooter than actually doing anything about bullying.

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2 Comments

  1. William Covington

    This post is in response to the ongoing ‘bullied at school’ reason for mass murder myth that is perpetuated in the media. I hope my post is read and I would appreciate comments about it. My post concerns the murder of teacher Ann Maguire, who was stabbed to death by one of her pupils, namely Will Cornick. My text is taken from the UK newspaper The Guardian, dated 3rd November 2014.
    ‘At the Cornick trial in Leeds, the judge heard that Cornick had been a model pupil
    and that his personality changed when he was diagnosed with diabetes. He started to harbour a hatred for Maguire. Cornick told other pupils he wanted Maguire dead, Cornick carried a knife. On Christmas Eve 2013, Cornick told a friend on Facebook that he wanted to ‘brutally kill’ Maguire and spend the rest of his life in prison. On the day of the murder Cornick took knives to school and a bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey to ‘celebrate afterwards’. Cornick told a psychiatrist he killed Maguire because ‘life is pretty fucking shit’ and that the killing ‘didn’t live up to his expectations’.

    Reply
  2. RadioChuck

    Personally, I see more evidence that the killers were, in fact, bullies themselves (much like the killers in Jonesboro, AR a coupla years prior)…prior to the shooting, victim Isiah Shoels complained to school officials that he’d been subject to racial harassment by the likes of Harris and Klebold, only to be told that the problems he described didn’t exist @ Columbine. Also, victim Rachel Scott was concerned about the killers’ obsession w/violence and tried reaching out to them, not that it did much good…one of their videos shows them mocking her Christian faith.

    Reply

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