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This paper is going to explore what effect the labeling theory had in regards to the tragedy at Columbine High School. Were these two students labeled, to what extent and how if any did this labeling affect the events that took place in Jefferson county that fateful day. The events that took place April 20, 1999 at Columbine High School caused shock, horror and deep sorrow in the hearts of all who watched and cried along with the Columbine community. This shooting is the fourth deadliest school killing in United States history. Once the initial shock and dismay had subsided people began to ask the question why? Why would two high school students embark on a shooting rampage? Who were there targets? What were they thinking? What kind of families did they come from? This massacre provoked many debates and theories while rumors ran rampant. Debates regarding gun control laws, the availability of firearms in the USA and gun violence involving youths. Much discussion centered on the nature of high school cliques, subcultures and bullying as well as the role of violent movies and video games in American society. The shooting also resulted in an increased emphasis on school security, and a closer look at Goth culture, social pariahs and teenage internet use. The labeling theory states that once a juvenile becomes labeled by police, courts, teachers, parents and peers they can become stigmatized and treated as criminals. In turn the juvenile may began to live up to that self –fulfilling prophecy thereby committing more crimes. It is believed that with...
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