Today's Youth, Tomorrow's Frankenstein

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Today's Youth, Tomorrow's Frankenstein
Views on School Shootings
On a sunny spring day in April 1999, a suburban school named Columbine High in Littleton, Colorado found itself under attack by two of its own students. ( In less than fifteen minutes of the first lunch period on that Tuesday, two armed students killed thirteen and wounded twenty-one fellow classmates before they turned the guns on themselves - the most devastating school shooting in U.S. history. Unfortunately, it wasn't the only school shooting; about thirty-five students die every year from school shootings. This generation comes from violence, hatred, and ignorance- the three principal factors that cause school shootings. In the novel Frankenstein (Mary Shelly), Dr. Victor Frankenstein creates a creature that is horribly, brutally hideous. The creature has a heart of gold and a beautiful soul; it is eager to learn and be part of the society it witnesses. But the creature is rejected, insulted, beaten, and hated by everyone it meets. Soon enough the creature becomes a violent and hateful monster, killing people close to it and destroying its home. The question eventually arises: who is responsible for the damage created by the creature? High school is a place where bullying, teasing, threats, humiliation, sarcasm, physical abuse and social isolation are commonplace. Almost 30% of youth in the United States are estimated to be involved in bullying as either a bully, a target of bullying, or both. ( The shooters are usually among those who are tormented daily by their peers. Killing, then, is their act of revenge. Although this does not suggest that torment justify murder, it does illustrate that the hostile atmosphere of most high schools is a major root cause of the recent shootings. Try to imagine staring at the clock on a Friday afternoon, feeling the bruises from the three beatings you took already that day and the fifteen you took over the past week, remembering the hundred beatings you'd absorbed that month, knowing that you'll probably have to endure at least one more before you can get the hell out of there and get home. And we wonder why some kids go for a gun.

Schools are supposed to be second homes. It goes without saying that students should feel safe, comfortable, and happy at school. They're all there for the same reason. They're all stuck in the same boat of studying for the same diploma exams and going to the same assemblies. One would think there would be some sort of togetherness. Instead, there are certain people who are convinced that there's one way to be, and whoever sticks closely to that recipe is the "best". This generally involves buying the right clothes, buying the right CDs, buying the right cars, styling your hair like the right advertisements, buying the right magazines, and dating the right people. Ironically, those who don't, or can't, stick to this criteria are not left out of the system. Another of the rules determining who are the best people is who abuses the people who don't follow these rules. One would think that the "cool" people would want nothing to do with the people who aren't. Instead those who would prefer to follow other rules and guidelines are kept within the "cool" system, constantly reminded that they are inferior. If teachers got to know students as more than just nameless faces in a crowd, maybe it would help the troubled students realize that there are good people in this world, that people care about them. Just a simple "hello" or "how are you?" could make a world of difference to them. Maybe it would make the student think twice about bringing out their rifle at lunch time or setting off a bomb in the gym. Today, marking a little more than six years since the Littleton shootings, it is natural to solemnly reflect on that event. It is logical for everyone to strive to understand the cause of the tragedy, to prevent further similar violence. Solely blaming...
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