Monthly Article Archives: April 2005

The Violence At Red Lake: Further Reflections About Creating Safe SchoolsRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

Sadly, last month another school in the United States has borne witness to acts of murder and violence. Jeff Weise, a 16-year-old, shot his grandfather and the grandfather’s girlfriend before driving to Red Lake High School on his Indian reservation in Minnesota. According to accounts in several newspapers, he shot an unarmed security guard and then roamed the school killing a teacher and five students and wounding seven others before taking his own life. It was the second worst school massacre in the United States, eclipsed only by the murders at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado six years ago. Based on my visits to many school districts, I am very aware that issues of safety are on the minds of administrators, faculty, parents, and students, more so in some districts than others. Understandably, when an event such as Red Lake occurs, these issues assume greater prominence as reflected in the scope of media coverage and the renewed urgency in which questions are posed to experts in the field. Questions include: Can school violence be predicted? Can school shooters be identified before they act violently? What are the most effective ways to prevent school violence? Is school violence on the

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