‘Copycat behavior is very common, in fact. Anecdotal evidence strongly indicates that threats increase in schools nationwide after a shooting has occurred anywhere in the United States.’ [Professor Mary Ellen]O’Toole encouraged students, teachers, other school staff and police to ‘be more vigilant in noting disturbing students’ behavior’ …
That’s the problem, ain’t it? The massacrist’s best friend knew she was suicidal and generally unstable, but we all have difficulty imagining that being an edgy introverted and self-destructive person with identity issues could ever have anything to do with seeking out children for slaughter. Sue Klebold was aware her son tended toward depression, and, more dire, had as his best friend a person she correctly identified as truly mentally disturbed. Of course she also knew her son had been in trouble with the law. She could never have imagined it added up to Columbine.
Other massacrists, like Adam Lanza, lived in virtually total isolation in their houses; in Lanza’s case, only his dippy, gun-mad, mother had access to the paranoid monster he’d become. And as for in-school monsters-in-waiting, most of us run away from scary people, while the thought of the vengeance they’d exact if they found out we reported them stays our hand.
But these days, when you have in your university class (as I once did when I taught at GW) a student who, session after session, displays in her behavior and comments a rather scary pre-psychotic orientation, you’ve got to think guns. You’ve got to tell campus security.
Here’s another focus for your anger, amid this eerily similar replay of the Adam Lanza massacre eleven-years ago.
1. were diagnosed mentally ill;
2. were former students at the shot-up school;
3. were in possession of large personal armories;
4. shot their way through the school’s doors;
5. expressed “resentment” of the school;
6. were in their twenties.
I’m waiting to hear whether the latest killer was, like Lanza, addicted to repulsively violent video games. She was by her own admission a video game addict; it’s not clear about the level of violence.
We’re sick – we should be sick – of the sweet quiet no criminal record bs we sometimes hear about the massacrist in the immediate aftermath. Oh, she was a lovely shy thing in high school! What a lovely quiet neighbor – I can’t believe all this time she was in there amassing an armory and writing her mad manifesto…
Lanza – who like the latest killer squirreled away in his house plotting his revenge – pumped four bullets directly into his mother’s head before going to the school. The bullets were in a gun his mother had gotten him as a gift. This woman got her head blown to bits because of her nutso denial — the same denial that got Kip Kinkel’s parents ripped to shreds by the guns they got Kip as gifts because they thought it would be therapeutic.
We’re sick – we should be sick – of an American culture so twisted that parents who know – must on some level know – that their kids are disturbed/dangerous either get them guns or don’t seem to make any effort to take their guns away. And certainly don’t seem to confide in anyone whatever they might know/suspect/fear about their kid’s murderous thoughts/intentions.
I’m just saying that I don’t intend to believe the bullshit we’re about to hear from this person’s parents.
“Three pediatric patients were transported to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, all having suffered gunshot wounds. All three were pronounced dead after arrival,” officials said.
Got two adults too. Will the number rise? Injured?
And let’s play that game where we try to figure out just what precise sort of well-known lunatic gun obsessive did it. Ready?
So, the school was pre-school to grade six. We can go the Newport News shooting way and say it was a demented 5th or 6th grader. We can go the Sandy Hook way and say it was a demented former student in his twenties. We know the shooter was male, and we know he was young, and we know he was insane, and we know people knew he was insane. I mean, we don’t actually know anything at all yet, but we can be pretty sure of these things. He probably lived with his parents, who made multiple guns freely available to him. He probably practiced shooting in the backyard and annoyed and frightened the neighbors.
I’m going to guess the shooter entered a classroom or a pre-school room and killed the adults first to keep them from trying to save the children, and then went after the children. We can expect the numbers of fatalities/injuries to rise.
Authorities clearly know who she is, but aren’t saying until they deal with her family, plus make sure she didn’t dispatch a few people she knew before slaughtering strangers. Popular objects of pre-massacre attention include parents, ex-spouses, and psychiatrists.
A Temple professor neatly sums up Spring Break USA, which leaves the rest of us to wonder why it keeps happening year after year, since cities have known for quite a few years that with absolute certainty several people will be shot, several police will be assaulted, scads of guns will be confiscated, riots or near-riots will break out, etc., etc. Every year is significantly worse than the last, and with every year normal tourists who find the terrifying, nationally broadcast, sleazefest offputting decide to stop coming altogether to Spring Break cities. A real win/win, ja?
UD’s thing is that drunk armed breakers and their drunk buddies should be directed via social media, incentives, etc., to America’s most insanely gun-friendly locales for their fun. These cities are begging for it. The local gunnies will welcome the incoming gunnies with open arms, and open-air festivals of the gun, with shooting into the air and elsewhere, will be scheduled nightly. No curfews or closed bars, and plenty of supercheap hotel rooms. If there are fights under these fight-friendly circumstances, that’s presumably the very outcome insane-gun-city has been dreaming of. BIG BIG GUN FIGHT!
Let it all come down, babe. You’ve been waiting for it, storing up ammo and armaments and protective gear and a week’s worth of grub.
“You’ve got a Prius with a unicorn sticker or a big F250 with a Glock sticker,” [a Houston police sergeant] said, referring to the popular Ford pickup truck. “Which one is more likely to get broken into?”
LOL. Plastering Glock stickers…
Gun theft from cars is super-rampant all over the country, but most drivers refuse to use gun lockboxes in their vehicles.
Do people at Denver’s largest middle school understand that school policy is to keep attempted first degree murderers enrolled? Sitting inches away from your eleven year old who might at least be allowed to know enough to try really hard not to piss him off? Can the school show that this lethally negligent policy has been announced on a regular basis over the PA system and at Back to School nights, and sent out in letters and emails to the community? (Does ‘PA system’ age me?)
Shortly after learning about [the Denver school system’s latest (double) attempted murder, McAuliffe’s principal Kurt] Dennis said he and his staff attempted to convince DPS to let [a student of theirs charged with attempted murder] perform online classes.
That request was denied by the district.
He then asked the district to expel the student.
That request was also denied.
In a document obtained by 9NEWS, the Student Discipline Program Manager said, “As there is no evidence that [the student] was in possession of a firearm on his school grounds or at any other DPS school, the request for an extended suspension and expulsion hearing is denied. Please return the student to school.”
And implement the procedure in place at East High School: Get a couple of random untrained unarmed administrators to pat him down every day for weapons.
Sure, one of the two administrators is now in critical condition a week after the student tried to kill the guy… But the other guy was only lightly wounded in the attack, which tells you that the killer can only handle one guy at a time! What is your problem, wimp? This is Colorado! Cowboy country! East High’s district school board voted two years ago to remove all armed guards, giving would-be killers a totally free hand! Where’s your courage?
[‘The reckless and absurd expulsion of police by Denver’s notoriously dysfunctional school board was a political stunt. It was intended as a swipe at police in 2020 after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis’.]
The real question, though, is where’s the DPS’s money. Assuming something short of full disclosure of its MURDERER? C’MON DOWN! policy to its sitting duck community, we can expect insanely prolific lawsuits against the district, which better be working on passing the buck bigtime right now. We were only following orders!
Watch the local tv report/interview at the top of the page. Both reporters wonder “what the bar is” for denying school entry to homicidally violent students. If attempted murder isn’t enough, what is?
UD says: Expulsion will be considered if and only if your victims have been dismembered. Some schools have a slightly higher bar, known among Student Discipline Program Managers as the Dahmer Rule: Students will need to show dismemberment and cannibalism to receive an expulsion order.
What’s the witches’ brew? How can this possibly be happening?
Guns are nothing in this country. Four hundred million of them are out and about – and I mean out, cuz in lots of places, certainly including Colorado, just about everybody gets to open carry. Guns are like flashlights or binoculars – totally unremarkable parts of the landscape. So one of the kids in one of your schools shot someone up. Big deal. He can go back to school. Some day soon, Lord willing, all students, faculty and administrators will open carry throughout the school day. THEN everyone will be safe.
If you treat would-be murderers like would-be murderers, they’ll end up in jail. Keep them in school and they won’t go to jail: Quod erat demonstrandum.
Number Three is institutional stupidity. Just rank stupidity, from the school board up to the superintendent. You can’t do anything about all the guns, but you can certainly remove these people and administer IQ tests to new candidates.
Whether it’s Philip Esformes or this dude,UD always eagerly welcomes back our country’s most inventive and prolific medical system… er… manipulators. Esformes, author of the biggest rip-off of the federal medical payment system in history, was pardoned by Trump, but he did SO MUCH shit wrong he has easily been brought to trial again on related charges. That’s one to watch.
Then we have the return of Pittsburgh’s most … uh… prolific surgeon, a guy who made buckets of money by performing like three surgeries SIMULTANEOUSLY babe and I ain’t kidding. He’d leave the geezers (he specialized in complex invasive surgery on the very very elderly — just what they need!) lying there on the table with a bunch of interns sort of standing around the anesthetized body waiting for hours for the guy to come back. Two patients lost limbs because of this sadistic protocol, but can you imagine how much money the guy made? While fragile ninety year olds lay there falling apart physically, robbed of any vestige of dignity while waiting for unnecessary and destructive surgery?
So UPMC and its star surgeon settled a WHOPPER of a federal lawsuit, after which I assume the dude went back to ravaging – in other lucrative ways – our oldest and most vulnerable in their final days.
But he and the school have refused to allow the government to keep an eye on them! The feds want to audit the dude’s billing; they want him to cooperate with a “corrective action plan.”
As part of the settlement, the government asked the defendants to sign paperwork — known as a corporate integrity agreement — that would place them under additional oversight. They refused.
Hell, I’d refuse too if I were making money amputed hand over fist!
So the feds are just designating him “high risk-heightened scrutiny,” and if I’m reading this right his patients are allowed to know this.
Just another day in the life of our well-meaning, absolutely pathetic, medical reimbursement system.
The imperial power dehumanizes the actual victim and claims to be the victim. When the victim opposes being attacked, being murdered, being colonized, the imperial power says that this is unreasonable, this is an illness, a phobia. … The term ‘Russophobia’ is an imperial strategy designed to change the subject from an actual war of aggression to the feelings of the aggressors, thereby suppressing the existence and the experience of the people who are the most harmed.
America now suffers from a mismatch between the lethal weaponry which is currently endemic in its public schools, and the level of intelligence among some of the people who run the public schools. I mean to say that the level of intelligence is not adequate to deal with the lethality.
Compounding the insufficient intelligence problem are three further problems:
School leaders are incentivized to retain students.
School leaders are often ideologically twisted in ways that make them not want to “give up” on vicious, mentally ill, people.
Some school leaders are themselves in various ways violence-friendly or at least violence-tolerant. America is a violent country. It has a lot of violent people in it. Some of them are running our schools.
Schools are all about putting happy faces on everything. While superintendents and principals sit in their offices sketching school spirit happy faces, students and parents are out front in the parking lot sobbing in each other’s arms as police shut down their killing field for the rest of the week. It’s a strange duality, but one that won’t change, because of hardwired truths about some of the people who become public school administrators. Everyone can read the guns on campus numbers, the shootings/killings on campus numbers, all the way down to the elementary schools. (“The [Denver] shooting is the 83rd shooting on a K-12 school campus this calendar year, according to the K-12 School Shooting Database.”) UD assures you that, given the situation on the ground, they will only grow.
And no, UD is not picking on administrators. They are only part – though a crucial part – of the witches’ brew. Depraved parents whose children have easy access to AR-15s? Check. Fragile mental health plus growing up in a violent country? Check. Inept local police forces? Check. School districts that haven’t gotten the message that in a country with four hundred million guns their buildings have become armed camps and have to start looking like them? Check. There’s lots of stuff we could talk about. But the person in charge of keeping the schools safe holds ultimate responsibility.
Dr. Bernard Carroll, known as the "conscience of psychiatry," contributed to various blogs, including Margaret Soltan's University Diaries, for which he sometimes wrote limericks under the name Adam. New York Times
George Washington University English professor Margaret Soltan writes a blog called University Diaries, in which she decries the Twilight Zone-ish state our holy land’s institutes of higher ed find themselves in these days. The Electron Pencil
It’s [UD's] intellectual honesty that makes her blog required reading. Professor Mondo
There's always something delightful and thought intriguing to be found at Margaret Soltan's no-holds-barred, firebrand tinged blog about university life. AcademicPub
You can get your RDA of academic liars, cheats, and greedy frauds at University Diaries. All disciplines, plus athletics. truffula, commenting at Historiann
Margaret Soltan at University Diaries blogs superbly and tirelessly about [university sports] corruption. Dagblog
University Diaries. Hosted by Margaret Soltan, professor of English at George Washington University. Boy is she pissed — mostly about athletics and funding, the usual scandals — but also about distance learning and diploma mills. She likes poems too. And she sings. Dissent: The Blog
[UD belittles] Mrs. Palin's degree in communications from the University of Idaho... The Wall Street Journal
Professor Margaret Soltan, blogging at University Diaries... provide[s] an important voice that challenges the status quo. Lee Skallerup Bessette, Inside Higher Education
[University Diaries offers] the kind of attention to detail in the use of language that makes reading worthwhile. Sean Dorrance Kelly, Harvard University
Margaret Soltan's ire is a national treasure. Roland Greene, Stanford University
The irrepressibly to-the-point Margaret Soltan... Carlat Psychiatry Blog
Margaret Soltan, whose blog lords it over the rest of ours like a benevolent tyrant... Perplexed with Narrow Passages
Margaret Soltan is no fan of college sports and her diatribes on the subject can be condescending and annoying. But she makes a good point here... Outside the Beltway
From Margaret Soltan's excellent coverage of the Bernard Madoff scandal comes this tip... Money Law
University Diaries offers a long-running, focused, and extremely effective critique of the university as we know it. Anthony Grafton, American Historical Association
The inimitable Margaret Soltan is, as usual, worth reading. ... Medical Humanities Blog
I awake this morning to find that the excellent Margaret Soltan has linked here and thereby singlehandedly given [this blog] its heaviest traffic... Ducks and Drakes
As Margaret Soltan, one of the best academic bloggers, points out, pressure is mounting ... The Bitch Girls
Many of us bloggers worry that we don’t post enough to keep people’s interest: Margaret Soltan posts every day, and I more or less thought she was the gold standard. Tenured Radical
University Diaries by Margaret Soltan is one of the best windows onto US university life that I know. Mary Beard, A Don's Life
[University Diaries offers] a broad sense of what's going on in education today, framed by a passionate and knowledgeable reporter. More magazine, Canada
If deity were an elected office, I would quit my job to get her on the ballot. Notes of a Neophyte