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A distinguished sociologist reveals the warning signs of a school shooter--and why we so often miss them
Parkland. Sandy Hook. Columbine. The list of school shootings gets longer by the day, and it often seems like no school is safe. Over the last decades, school shootings have decimated communities and terrified parents, teachers, and children in even the most family friendly American towns and suburbs.
We talk about these tragedies as the spontaneous acts of disconnected teens, but this important book argues that the roots of violence are deeply entwined in the communities themselves. Drawing on more than 200 interviews with town residents, sociologist Katherine Newman and her co-authors take the reader inside two of the most notorious school shootings of the 1990s, in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and Paducah, Kentucky. In a powerful and original analysis, she demonstrates that the organizational structure of schools encourage administrators to "lose" information about troubled kids, and the very closeness of these small rural towns restrained neighbors and friends from communicating what they knew about their problems.
Rampage challenges the "loner theory" of school violence and shows why so many adults and students miss the warning signs that could prevent it.