Rightfully, there has been an outpouring of heartfelt articles in response to the terrible events at Freeman High School. Appraisals have pointed to the need for heightened security, mental health system improvements, better gun controls, etc. Except for one brief comment by Principal Lori Wyborney of Rogers High School — “It does raise some awareness for students for them to be kinder” — strikingly, there has been virtually no suggestions about the role of the unique subcultures of American schools, which are the context and evident target of the violence.
Why are almost exclusively boys of junior and senior high age engaging in shootings at their schools in the U.S. at a rate much greater, than those in Europe? These are not random events or accidents but rather intentional acts occurring in specifically chosen environments: the perpetrators’ own schools.
While I in no way mean to remove any onus for these acts from their perpetrators, any serious intention to move beyond protection to prevention would seem logically to require acute attention to the role of the subculture against which these violent acts are directed: schools.