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Recurrent Issues in Efforts to Prevent Homicidal Violence in Schools: Expert Opinions
New Directions in Youth Development (2001)
  • Richard E. Redding
  • Karen E. Dill
  • Peter K. Smithh
  • Ray Surette
  • Dewey Cornell
The purpose of this article is to consider four issues that are raised repeatedly by public policy makers, educators, and juvenile justice authorities in seeking ways to prevent youth violence in general and homicidal attacks on schools in particular. The first topic, bullying, has received great attention because many youth involved in school shootings and other violent attacks at school have been victims of bullying. The two boys who carried out the Columbine shootings cast themselves as champions of victims of bullying in their videos and writings, some still available on the Internet. The second topic concerns the influence of entertainment violence, especially violent video games and music. Few topics have generated as much debate and controversy over the past fifty years as research on the effects of violent media on children’s behavior and development. The fact that the Columbine youth, as well as youth involved in several other high-profile cases, were known as ardent players of video games that rewarded rampage killing of as many opponents as possible has added a new depth of concern to this topic. The third topic concerns the generation of copycat crimes by news media reports of sensational acts of violence. Notably, the Columbine boys aspired to achieve infamy by far exceeding the violent impact attained by previous school shooters and, in turn, the unprecedented news coverage of their crime has shaped the actions of other youth who made references to Columbine in their threats or plans to carry out similar acts. The fourth topic concerns the possible role of deterrence through tougher criminal penalties for juvenile offenders. Policy makers frequently question whether potential offenders might be deterred through more serious criminal sanctions. Four leading experts on these topics responded to the question: “What are the most promising findings in your field in the past ten years that can help us prevent homicidal violence by students in schools?”
  • School Violence,
  • Youth Homicide,
  • School Shootings,
  • Prevention,
  • Deterrence
Publication Date
Spring 2001
Citation Information
Richard E. Redding, Karen E. Dill, Peter K. Smithh, Ray Surette, et al.. "Recurrent Issues in Efforts to Prevent Homicidal Violence in Schools: Expert Opinions" New Directions in Youth Development Vol. 129 (2001)
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