In the wake of the school shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas, where 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis shot and killed 10 people, the specter of bullying was brought up once again. News station WNCN in the Raleigh, North Carolina, area interviewed a criminologist from a local liberal arts school where she was asked if the Santa Fe High Shooting was reminiscent of Columbine. Considering the shooter constantly wore a trench coat/duster in the Texas heat, had a shirt that said ‘born to kill’ and had explosives at the school that didn’t detonate, the answer to that question should be “Ya think?”.
However, putting that scintillating piece of journalism aside, what I really want to talk about is the bullying issue as it applies to school shootings. The article throws this little tidbit in toward the end.
Dr. Amanda Parker says school shooters are often victims of bullying. According to reports 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis was also bullied.
Now I’m not a criminologist. I never even finished college. So far be it from me to tell Dr. Parker how to do her job. However, I would like to know where she found her data on this matter because as far as I’m concerned that’s simply not true. In my opinion, the vast majority of school shooters were not bullied. It’s just that their antisocial behaviors were misinterpreted as them being victims of bullying. As I have mentioned many times before, this ‘bullying myth’ as I call it, started with Columbine when early reports claimed that the cowards of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were bullied. To this day, almost two decades later, there is still no concrete proof that they were bullied. However, there is documented evidence that they were bullies themselves.
Getting back to the Santa Fe shooting, what exactly was the shooter being bullied about before he committed mass murder? According to NBC News, another student said that Pagourtzis was bullied by his football coaches because he smelled bad. Wearing a long black coat all year long in Texas will do that sometimes, but I digress. When a coach or teacher tells you to get your hygiene in order, that’s not bullying, that’s them trying to prevent bullying.
Pagourtzis’ father even tries to get in on the act claiming that his son must have killed 10 people because he was bullied.
In a phone interview over the weekend with Greece’s Antenna TV, Antonios Pagourtzis said he wished he could have stopped the killing Friday at Santa Fe High School. His voice cracked as he described how he told police to let him inside the school so his son, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, could kill him instead. He said he suspects his son was under pressure, perhaps due to bullying.
This is the same father who allegedly left his shotgun and .38 unguarded so his son could use it in one of the nation’s worst school shootings. So you’ll just have to forgive me if I don’t take him completely at his word.
To further my point, 16-year-old Shana Fisher was one of the first people to be killed at Santa Fe High. Shana’s mother claims that Pagourtzis aggressively pursued her daughter as a romantic interest after being repeatedly told she wasn’t interested. It was a week after Shana publicly rejected Pagourtzis that the shooting took place. So who’s really the bully here?
It’s been almost twenty years since Columbine and we still can’t rid this idiotic trope from the American psyche. Bullying does not cause school shootings. Petulant and entitled children with easy access to guns who can’t emotionally process their own shortcomings cause school shootings.