“Triggers” at School Violence
Alyson Prevost, Comm 220
August 2, 2009
Throughout this paper one may fear for their child’s safety at school. This happens when they might see an act of random violence that happened at another school, in another state, or when one notices an act of bullying in their child’s school. Sadly, school violence seems to be getting worse. When the schools though try to stop the violence or bullying they sometimes cross the lines, or do not acknowledge what is the problem. They cannot win for losing. Schools, like most everything are not perfect, but this one would feel, should be. Violence does not just hit the public or city schools, as one would think because violence has no prejudices.
Many believe that the UT shootings of 1966, was one of the worst shootings in the history of school violence. One August 1st, 1966 Charles Whitman went on a shooting spree in Austin, Texas at the University of Texas. Whitman stood atop the Texas tower, which stands 307 feet tall, and shot uninterrupted for 96 minutes.
The former Marine and UT student felt like a failure, and started to have fantasies of killing. His first action towards this plan came about on July 31st. That morning Whitman went out and bought himself a Bowie knife and binoculars at a surplus store. That evening his wife and friends socialized, they say that he was unusually quiet. When Charlie hot home at exactly 6:45, he wrote a letter:
"I don't quite understand what it is that compels me to type this letter," he wrote. "Perhaps it is to leave some vague reason for the actions I have recently performed." He went on to say he'd increasingly been a victim of "many unusual and irrational thoughts" and that his attempt to get help with his problems (the visit to Dr. Heatly) had failed. He expressed a wish that his body be autopsied after his death to see if there was a physical cause for his mental anguish. As he continued, he outlined his plan for the...