Schools should provide bulletproof backpacks for students

The crack in the blackboard: rampage and serious acts of violence in school [1 ed.] 9783540716303

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F. J. Robertz R. Wickenhäuser The crack in the blackboard rampage and severe violence in the school

Frank J. Robertz Ruben Wickenhauser

The crack in the blackboard rampage and serious violence in the school With 43 illustrations and 6 tables

123

Dr. Frank J. Robertz Dr. Ruben Wickenhäuser IGaK - Institute for Violence Prevention and Applied Criminology Free Institute for Interdisciplinary Violence Prevention Strategies E-Mail: [email protected] Web: www.igak.org

ISBN 978-3-540-71630-3 Springer Medizin Verlag Heidelberg Bibliographic information from the German National Library The German National Library lists this publication in the German National Bibliography; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de. This work is protected by copyright. The rights established thereby, in particular those of translation, reprinting, presentation, extraction of figures and tables, radio broadcasting, microfilming or duplication in other ways and storage in data processing systems, are reserved, even if only in part. A reproduction of this work or parts of this work is only permitted in individual cases within the limits of the statutory provisions of the copyright law of the Federal Republic of Germany of September 9, 1965 in the currently applicable version. In principle, it is subject to remuneration. Infringements are subject to the penal provisions of the Copyright Act. Springer Medizin Verlag springer.de © Springer Medizin Verlag Heidelberg 2007 The reproduction of common names, trade names, etc. in this work, even without special identification, does not justify the assumption that such names are to be regarded as free within the meaning of trademark and brand protection legislation and therefore should be used by everyone. Product liability: The publisher cannot accept any liability for information on dosage instructions and application forms. Such information must be checked for correctness by the respective user on a case-by-case basis using other literature sources.

Planning: Dr. Svenja Wahl Project Management: Michael Barton Copyediting: Dr. Christiane Grosser, Viernheim Cover photo: left: adio (www.photocase.com), right: Thomas Aigner (www.photocase.com) Layout and cover design: deblik Berlin Typesetting: TypoStudio Tobias Schaedla, Heidelberg SPIN 11547259 Printed on acid-free paper

2126 – 5 4 3 2 1 0

V.

Foreword In recent years, a new form of violence has raised concern: a youngster breaks into his school and starts shooting at teachers and students. In the weeks after the crime, the media reported cases in which other young people threatened to repeat what happened at their school. What is particularly worrying about these acts, known as "school shootings", is that they can apparently take place anywhere in Germany, at any school and at any time. Following our lectures on this complex of topics, we often encounter a feeling of helplessness among parents and teachers: So many circumstances would have to change that there are too few resources and opportunities to, for example, give young people the attention they urgently need, the school system itself, with its pressure to perform, is so unsuitable for imparting social skills. In fact, the popular simple way of repression, bans and regulations can ultimately only take on the role of a fire brigade that comes when there is already a fire. Excessive repression also creates a climate of mutual distrust and thus even worsens the situation. Nevertheless, at least initial improvements are not as difficult to achieve as is commonly assumed: The ideal way to combat youth violence is prevention. Prevention starts early. It is supposed to dissuade the arsonist from buying matches at all or, if he has bought them, at least harmlessly burning them. But it requires what seems to be less and less available in our modern society: time for personal exchange with those affected, time to listen, to give advice, to discuss things with colleagues and parents. This book is intended to provide you with the best possible protection. We don't just want to give you an insight into how such acts can come about and where the causes and reasons lie. We also want to give you practical tips and instructions on how such incidents can be better prevented - and how best to behave in the event of an incident. A comprehensive scientific review, which has not been included in this book for the sake of clarity, can be found in "School Shootings" by Frank Robertz, published by Verlag für Polizeiwissenschaften 2004, and in the literature mentioned at the end of each chapter. We are facing a major challenge with regard to the comprehensive implementation of violence prevention in schools across society. As is the case with challenges, they demand the active commitment of the individual and the constant tenacious overcoming of setbacks. Be it a teacher, a parent or a volunteer: Everyone can contribute to making the community aware of the problem and taking a united action against it, be it through independent actions such as parenting at school, or by calling for more options for action, for example through repeated and emphatic requests to politics and school ministries to create additional positions in social work, school psychology and the teaching staff, be it through preventive teaching content in schools. In an increasingly individualistic society, this is certainly a lot to ask. But the goal is worth the effort: after all, it's about the well-being of our children. With this in mind - set a good example right away! Frank J. Robertz and Ruben Wickenhäuser, March 2007

VII

About the authors Frank J. Robertz ▬ Dr. phil .; Graduate criminologist; Dipl.-Sozialpädagoge ▬ Born 1970 ▬ Studied social pedagogy and criminology, doctorate at the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Hamburg ▬ Lecturer at the Institute for Criminological Social Research and research work for authorities in the Hanseatic City of Hamburg to assess facilities for young people who have committed criminal offenses and police prevention programs at schools ▬ work with children and adolescents who are suspicious or who have committed criminal offenses; Conception and implementation of preventive conflict training as well as training on victim awareness and empathy promotion with groups of imprisoned adults; Carrying out advanced training courses in the fields of prison, police and school ▬ Publications among others: - School Shootings, 2004 (Frankfurt a. M .: Police Science) - With Alexandra Thomas: Serial murder, 2004 (Munich: Belleville) - With Bernhard Villmow: Avoiding pre-trial detention among young people , 2004 (Münster: LIT) ▬ Scientific director of the Institute for Violence Prevention and Applied Criminology (IGaK) in Berlin ▬ www.igak.org

Ruben Philipp Wickenhäuser ▬ Dr. phil .; Historian M.A. ▬ Born 1973 ▬ Studied history and physical anthropology in Erlangen, Bamberg, Huddersfield and Mainz, doctorate at the Free University of Berlin ▬ Many years of work as a freelance writer ▬ Active in youth work, pedagogically oriented readings in front of classes of all types of schools ▬ Publications, among others: - Indianer- Life. A workshop, 2004 (Mülheim: Verlag an der Ruhr) - Juggern ... The trend sport for social learning, 2006 (Mülheim: Verlag an der Ruhr) ▬ Coordinator of the Institute for Violence Prevention and Applied Criminology (IGaK) in Berlin ▬ www.igak .org

VIII

About the authors

Peter Hehne ▬ Dipl.-Kriminalist ▬ Born 1961 ▬ Studied forensics at the Humboldt University Berlin, graduated from the Police Command Academy in Münster, graduated from the FBI National Academy, Quantico / VA, USA ▬ Lecturer in criminology and operational studies at the Thuringian Administration College ▬ Supervision and appraisal of several diploma theses on the subject of amok, collaboration in the project group amoklagen of the Thuringian police, organization and conference management of the 1st Thuringian police college symposium on the topic: "Police coping with amok cases - Gutenberg and the consequences" ▬ Head of department at the Thuringia State Criminal Police Office

Jens Hoffmann ▬ Dr. phil .; Psychologist ▬ Born 1968 ▬ Studied psychology, sociology and linguistics at the Technical University of Darmstadt and at the University of Surrey in Guildford, England ▬ Lecturer at universities in Berlin, Darmstadt, Giessen, Hamburg, Regensburg; Co-managing director of the "Team Psychology & Security" (TPS), a network of criminal and former police psychologists who advise and train business, authorities and public figures ▬ Publications including: - With Cornelia Musolff: Perpetrator profiles in violent crime, 2006 (Heidelberg: Springer) - With Isabel Wondrak: Amok and targeted violence in schools, 2007 (Frankfurt a. M .: Police Science) - With Reid Meloy & Lorraine Sheridan: Stalking, Threats and Attacks against Public Figures, in press (Oxford: Oxford University Press) ▬ Head of the advanced training and research facility Institute for Psychology & Safety, Research Associate at the Forensic Psychology Department at TU Darmstadt ▬ www.institut-psychologie-sicherheit.de

Aïda Lorenz ▬ Graduate psychologist, licensed psychological psychotherapist ▬ Studied psychology at the Universities of Tübingen, Konstanz and the Free University of Berlin ▬ School psychologist for violence prevention and crisis intervention in Berlin-Mitte; Emergency psychologist; Supervisor and specialist psychologist for forensic psychology BDP / DGPs, certified curator ad litem; Lecturer in psychology and teaching assignments; psychological experts in family matters; Curator ad litem according to § 50 FGG

IX About the authors

▬ Implementation of teacher training courses on dealing with violence in schools and supervision; Psychological-pedagogical and group therapeutic work with aggressive children and with conspicuous adolescents who have committed criminal offenses with accompanying teacher counseling and work with parents ▬ Publications among others: - A group therapy concept for aggressive students - the autogenic training in the therapeutic children's group, in: Lisckke-Naumann, G., Lorenz , A., Sandock, B .: Practice of Child Psychology and Child Psychiatry, Volume 30, Issue 4, 1981 - AIDA Project - Reduction of Aggression, Promoting Identity, De-escalation, Becoming Different, in: Brückler, R., Lorenz, A. Conversational psychotherapy and person-centered counseling, 37. Volume 3, 2006 ▬ “Help with incidents of violence at a glance” ▬ www.berlin.de/sen/bildung/gewaltpraevention

Georg Pieper ▬ Dr. phil .; Psychologist ▬ Born 1953 ▬ Studied psychology and sociology at the Universities of Bonn and Freiburg i. Br .; Doctorate at the Faculty of Economics, Psychological Institute of the University of Freiburg ▬ Inpatient drug therapy, child and adolescent psychiatry, resident psychotherapist; Head of the Institute for Trauma Management; Psychological support for those affected by the Borken mine disaster in 1988, the ICE disaster in Eschede in 1998, the murder of teachers in Meißen in 1999, the rampage in Erfurt in 2002; »BÜTS« project - coping with assaults and traumatic stress for prison staff and training for crisis intervention teams at Frankfurt Airport; Instructor and supervisor at various behavioral therapy training institutes; Teaching assignments at the Universities of Dresden and Freiburg ▬ Publications including: - Post-traumatic stress disorder in children and adolescents. In: Mattejat, F. (Ed.) Textbook of Psychotherapy Vol. 4 Behavioral Therapy with Children, Adolescents and Their Families, 2006 (CIP media) - Seven-stage treatment concept for traumatic disorders (SBK) - A treatment manual, 2007 (Huber) ▬ Resident psychological psychotherapist, head of the Institute for Trauma Management ITB ▬ www.traumabewaeltigung.de

XI

Table of Contents Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

5.3

Borderline experience rampage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Structure of the book. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

5.3.1

1

Deeds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7th

5.3.2

1.1 1.2 1.3

What are »School Shootings«? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Case Study: Moses Lake, Washington. . . . . . . . . .11 data: the extent of school shootings. . . . .13 Further reading. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22

2

Perpetrator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

2.1 2.2 2.3

Life phase youth. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Case Study: West Paducah, Kentucky. . . . . . . . . .27 Evaluation: Results of US study results. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 Psychopathological abnormalities. . . . . . . . . . . . .31 lonerism. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 Crime planning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 Allegations and threats. . . . . . . . . . . . .34 Serious personal incision prior to the act. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 Further reading. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35

2.3.1 2.3.2 2.3.3 2.3.4 2.3.5

3

Living environment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

3.1 3.2

Case study: Red Lake, Minnesota. . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 Control Theories: Relationships That Prevent Action. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Social Control Theory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43 Control Balance Theory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Further reading. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48

3.2.1 3.2.2

4

New media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

4.1 4.2 4.2.1 4.2.2 4.2.3 4.2.4 4.3

Case study: Erfurt. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51 Discussion on media impact. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 movies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 Music. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54 Internet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56 »Killer Games«. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 Protection of minors in the media. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65 Further reading. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .69

5

Fantasy worlds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

5.1 5.2

Case study: Littleton, Colorado. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73 Imagination as the key to perception. . . . .74

5.3.3 5.4 5.4.1 5.4.2 5.4.3 5.5

Imagination in the context of young people running amok. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76 Eric Harris ’fantasies:" We will be in all black ". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76 Dylan Klebold's fantasies: "The lonely man strikes with absolute rage". . .80 Overview of Eric Harris ’and Dylan Klebold's imagination. . . . . . . . .81 Controlled Fantasies and Fantasies About Control. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .82 Imagination Intensity and Content. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .84 Shared Fantasies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .85 Realization of a violent fantasy. . . . . . . . . . .87 Overreactions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .88 Further reading. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .90

6

Acts of copying. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91

6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4

Case study: Conyers, Georgia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93 Free riders and copycat offenders. . . . . . .95 Lessons from Suicide Research. . . . . . . . . .96 Public Relations to Avoid Counterfeit Offenses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .99 Exaggeration and iconization of the perpetrators. . . . . 101 Public Interest in School Shootings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 The "just world" hypothesis. . . . . . . . 102 narcissism. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 Further reading. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106

6.5 6.5.1 6.5.2 6.6

7

Intervention and prevention. . . . . . . . . . . .107

7.1 7.1.1 7.1.2

Intervention after the start of the crime. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 Important information in amok situations. . 111 Preparatory cooperation between school and police.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 On the evaluation of threats from a police point of view. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 Intervention before the start of the crime. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 Case study: Brannenburg. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118 The new discipline of threat management. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 First evaluation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 case management and crisis teams. . . . . . . . . . 123 The Future of Threat Management. . 125 prevention. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126

7.1.3 7.2 7.2.1 7.2.2 7.2.3 7.2.4 7.2.5 7.3

XII

7.3.1 7.3.2 7.3.3

Table of Contents

Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dealing with vulnerable and dangerous students. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Prevention . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Further reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

126 129 133 135

8

Overcoming trauma. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .137

8.1 8.2 8.3 8.3.1 8.3.2 8.3.3 8.4

Case study: Meissen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Traumatic stress. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ways of support. . . . . . . . . . . System level. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Group level. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Individual level. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Findings and tips for future trauma processing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Debriefing and early psychological interventions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Initial situation with those affected. . . . . . . . . . . Search for meaning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Role of the media. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anniversary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Consequences for practice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Further reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

8.4.1 8.4.2 8.4.3 8.4.4 8.4.5 8.4.6

139 140 143 143 144 152 157 157 158 159 160 160 161 162

9

Clarification of the book contents using the Emsdetten case study. . . . . . . . . . . . . .163

9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 9.9

Did . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165 perpetrators. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165 living environment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168 New media. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170 imagination. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172 acts of copying. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174 Intervention and Prevention. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175 Overcoming trauma. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177 Final remarks by the authors. . . 177

Attachment: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .179 Part A Help on the subject of "School Shootings" in dealing with children and young people. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Part B Worksheets for teachers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Part C Exercises for school principals and crisis teams. . . Part D Documents for police stations. . . . . . . . . . Part E Emergency folder for schools. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

181 187 193 203 211

Literature. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .233

introduction

The extent of the tragedy only became clear to me when I got back into the building. Then I saw all the dead. All seventeen, one at a time. That was really terrible, it burned itself deeply into my head. As if it didn't want to end at all. Then I became aware of the full extent. (U.P. - caretaker at the Johann-GutenbergGymnasium)

3 Introduction

Borderline experience rampage rampage by young people at schools, so-called school shootings, are decisive life events. Anyone who has ever come into contact with them will usually not forget this for the rest of their lives. Be it as a janitor who had to identify the victims and relive the memory again and again of wiping up pools of blood in the school courses from students he valued and from teachers with whom he was friends. Be it as a police officer who was called to a school to stop a juvenile murder victim and who constantly had to think about where his own son was to be found and whether he was still alive. And whether he would really be able to shoot a teenager his son's age. Be it as a school community that is confronted with the monstrous, torn out of the feeling of security that every school should offer. That place, which is considered a shelter to prepare for a happy life in the social community, becomes with one

Time to the scene of an extreme act of violence. In addition, the perpetrators are children and young people. Not enough that a basic feeling of security that is necessary for healthy growing up is destroyed, it is also destroyed by a classmate. An acquaintance, a classmate who attended the same lessons every day, walked through the same school corridors, killed classmates and teachers without warning. The event can only be processed at least in its main features if a meaning or at least an inherent logic can be ascribed to it. The scenario of a rampage at one's own school does not only appear incomprehensible to those who had to experience it first hand. The background of experience and the motives of the young perpetrators are so self-referential and decoupled from the environment of the rest of the population that outsiders find it difficult to understand them. In the search for an explanation, a first look for help is usually directed at people who seem to help every day to transform everyday uncertainties into predictable forms

4

introduction

grasp. And they are all too happy to express themselves at times when it is not even known what has happened, let alone why. In this context, two phases can be identified following serious incidents. In the first phase, press reporters pounce on the school community and capture human suffering with their cameras. In individual cases, this has led to the fact that the international press occupied all of the accommodations in the city concerned. On the other hand, there is little space left for help-oriented psychologists and emergency helpers. This only appears to be astonishing at first glance: We as consumers want to see images as quickly as possible, as extensively and immediately as possible. Dealing with the unthinkable helps a little to banish the horror. In the second phase, politicians on the ground usually get an idea of ​​the situation. With a concerned expression, they point out that “everything humanly possible must be done” so that such incidents do not recur in the future. As elected representatives, they see this as their job, and the reporters take their

emotional promises. However, since the actual causes of those acts are still completely in the dark at this point in time, populist recourse to the "usual suspects" is taken in almost all cases. Blame is quickly and unilaterally assigned to individual elements of youth culture to which adults often no longer have access. Material for these speculations can often be found in the search of the young perpetrators' rooms, be it in the form of CDs by rock musician Marilyn Manson, who plays with the attitudes of the "Gothic" scene, or in the form of video games like Doom or Counter-Strike. The demand for a ban or the restriction of their distribution has a calming effect and arouses the misleading hope that the problem of excessive acts of violence by individual young people can be solved quickly and comparatively easily. With this hope, however, we are faced with a causal error. Just because these objects are found on the young people does not necessarily mean that they are responsible for an act of violence. Whether such games can actually lower the inhibition threshold for killing and to what extent songs and films provide ideas for acts of violence remains to be discussed. The

5 Introduction

However, the basic problem is much more profound. We will see that we adults in particular are a factor that should not be underestimated in the emergence of extreme violence in schools. This is frightening at first, especially since it does not promise a solution as easy as the simple ban on certain items. On closer inspection, however, this knowledge offers a great opportunity. If we understand the set of conditions behind the phenomenon of school shootings and if we behave responsibly towards our youth, then we can effectively contain the fundamental problem of severe, targeted violence in schools. While there will never be absolute certainty that such incidents in schools can be completely prevented, effective preventive countermeasures can be taken. This book gives you an easily understandable overview of the current state of knowledge. The complex issues and development processes are illustrated clearly and with numerous examples in order to provide you with tools for effective prevention. First and foremost, your options for action should be expanded in order to prevent serious, targeted acts of violence in schools.

change. Because the responsibility to avoid further tragedies rests with all of us.

Structure of the book In order to narrow down what kind of violence is the subject of this book, in Chap. 1 first examines the characteristics and special features of a school shoot. Even at this first consideration it becomes clear that individual causal attributions are useless to explain such serious acts. This paves the way for a more in-depth consideration of the bundles of causes and motivations. At the same time, data on the frequency, distribution and international scope of school shootings are presented. Subsequently, chap. 2 Characteristics and problem areas of the young perpetrators. An evaluation of the studies available so far makes it possible to both raise awareness of critical aspects in the run-up to the offenses and to create the first basics that will prove useful for the prevention and intervention of such acts. In chap. 3, the family and school environment of the perpetrators is considered to be an important influence on the

6

introduction

setting of the deeds described. It becomes clear that strong, functional relationship structures offer protection against the emergence of school shootings. It also shows that the subjective experience of control also plays an important role in the development of such acts. Especially after school shootings, the role of »new media« in the process of offense is discussed very often. Cape. 4 questions this connection with the help of impact studies and particularly looks at the role of films, music, the Internet and computer games. Finally, the protection of minors in the media in Germany is presented. The juvenile perpetrators' imagination plays an essential role in the development of school shootings. Your imagination is an important factor in planning and carrying out a school shoot. Using Columbine as an example, the role of the imagination is discussed in Chap. 5 illustrated with the help of diary entries, films and drawings by the perpetrators. Massive media coverage nourishes this fantasy experience of potential perpetrators and can thus encourage imitations and free riders. In chap. 6 describes five reporting principles that can help reduce the risk of counterfeiting. It is also outlined why there is a high level of media interest in school shootings. With the possibilities of intervention and prevention, Chap. 7 out of sight

three different experts: Detective Director Peter Hehne explains what information the police absolutely need in an emergency in order to be able to intervene quickly. The expert for threat analyzes and psychological perpetrator profiles Dr. Jens Hoffmann explains how threats should be assessed and how to react to them. Finally, the Berlin school psychologist Aïda Lorenz explains various ways of prevention and uses three vivid examples from her practice to show how threatening pupils can be dealt with. Dr. Georg Pieper, a leading expert in trauma management, then explains in Chap. 8 Using the case study of the killing of a teacher in Meißen, ways to come to terms with such serious crimes. Structured into short-term, medium-term and long-term measures, it provides a clear view of the procedure in modern trauma therapy. Cape. 9 finally offers the opportunity to illustrate the content presented in the course of the book using the example of the school shoot in Emsdetten. The contents are applied again in summary. Copy templates with which a school-internal emergency folder can be created can be found in the appendix as well as extensive worksheets for teaching colleges and crisis teams, with which the understanding of the development of school shootings can be deepened and crucial information can be recorded.

1

Acts 1.1

What are »School Shootings«? - 9

1.2

Case study: Moses Lake, Washington

1.3

Dates: The extent of school shootings - 13

– 11

Further reading - 22

When I think back to that day today, the question that concerns me is why did I survive this, and is it actually such a great thing to have survived it now? How does it even go on living after this experience? (L.P. - teacher at the Johann-GutenbergGymnasium in Erfurt)

9 1.1 · What are »School Shootings«?

Killing another person is universally considered the most extreme form of violence. That is why the commandment "not to kill" is in principle defended at great expense in all cultures. However, there are just as universal exceptions that override this standard. Killing has always been used on a large scale to gain and maintain the power of individuals, be it in ancient rituals, medieval religious disputes or in modern wars. In some states, killing is still used as the most severe form of punishment. There are also exceptions between individual people that override the ban on killing - just think of self-defense rights or the final rescue shot by the police, which is permitted in some federal states. Whether the killing of another person is viewed as reprehensible also depends on the culture and context in which it takes place. Due to the complex definitions and balancing of intent and motive, the amount of the penalty for killing also depends on your assessment (info box). In Germany, for example, a distinction is made between killing as bodily harm resulting in death, manslaughter or murder. This, in turn, is often only possible through valuation and attribution processes that go beyond the analysis of the course of events. Are killings not legitimized by the state and occurring outside of wars, targeted

Infobox

I.

Acts, they are generally considered to be serious breaches of the norm. When such incidents occur, a society usually tries to determine the causes of these killings as quickly as possible and to counteract them. At this point the focus is on a form of killing that has been known for 30 years, but has only increased significantly worldwide in the last decade: the targeted killing of pupils or teachers by young people in schools - so-called school shootings.

1.1

What are »School Shootings«?

School shootings are expressly not about the killing of a single person, which occurred in the context of violent conflicts or excessive emotions, but only happened by chance at a school. If, for example, a 14-year-old stabbed a classmate in a fit of rage with handicraft scissors or the 17-year-old wanted to shoot his rival in the schoolyard, then these cases are acts that could have happened elsewhere. Likewise, no shootings are included that have arisen from armed group disputes, as they are under the catchphrase "Gang-related Incident" or "Gang Shoo-

I.

In the German Criminal Code (StGB) a distinction is made:

Section 211 murder. (1) The murderer is punished with life imprisonment. (2) A murderer is anyone who kills a person out of lust for murder, to satisfy the sexual instinct, out of greed or otherwise for low motives, insidiously or cruelly or by means that are dangerous to the public or to make another crime possible or to cover it up. Section 212 manslaughter. (1) Anyone who kills a person without being a murderer is considered a manslaughter

1

ger punished with imprisonment not less than five years. (2) In particularly serious cases, life imprisonment is to be recognized. Distinguishable from this, there are also “offenses against life” under Sections 213–222 as well as other fatal offenses such as Section 226 (bodily harm resulting in death).Apparently simple terms of these legal definitions, such as "low motivation" or "insidiousness", are captured in court proceedings through complex ascriptions of actions.

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Chapter 1 · Deeds

ting Spree «occur more frequently, especially in some socially poorly structured districts of the USA. These are hardly relevant for German conditions and follow different causal conditions. During school shootings, the school was deliberately chosen as the location for the killings. The perpetrators were always students or former students of the school selected as the crime scene. Either several students or teachers were the target of the killing intention, or individual victims were selected by the perpetrator because of their function at a school (info box). Infobox

I.

I.

Some examples of school shootings December 4, 1986. In Lewiston, Montana, 14-year-old Kristofer Hans shoots his French teacher's substitute and wounded the vice-rector and two classmates. He had previously threatened to kill his French teacher.

Feb. 8, 1996. 16-year-old Douglas Bradley drives his car onto his school's basketball court in Palo Alto, California, throwing coins out of the cart to attract students' attention. Then he shoots randomly into the crowd and wounds three classmates before killing himself. August 30, 2006. Nineteen-year-old Alvaro Castillo fired eight times at his school in Hillsborough, North Carolina, with a rifle and shotgun, injuring two students. There are more weapons and explosives in his car. Shortly before the shooting at his school, he had killed his father.

Finding a name for this form of killing turns out to be difficult in German. Because of the far-reaching consequences of such acts, the mass media often speak luridly of a "school massacre" or even a "bloodbath". At the same time, the more moderate terms "rampage" and "mass murder"

at least not with the necessary accuracy from a scientific point of view. At most, those serious acts of violence in schools can be seen as an unusual sub-category of "rampage" or "mass murders" because they differ significantly from these in some essential aspects, such as the choice of victim, the scene of the crime and the age of the perpetrators. At international symposiums and in scientific publications, people have meanwhile started to refer to these serious acts of violence as "school shootings". Not only is it an Anglicism that, translated into German as "school shootings", would once again be reminiscent of reporting in the rainbow press; the term also has a certain vagueness. Not all acts are committed with firearms, while mass shootings in a group context do not constitute school shootings. Individual scientists therefore use cumbersome paraphrases, including "deliberate mass killings in schools" and "targeted, lethal violence in schools". While these terms are factually correct, they prove to be too unwieldy for constant use in the context of a book. Therefore, in the following, the generic terms "rampage" and "mass murder" by young people in schools as well as the paraphrasing "severe targeted violence in schools" are used synonymously in accordance with the public discussion. As a rule, however, the term »school shooting« is used (info box). Infobox

I.

I.

School shootings describe killings or attempts at killing by young people in schools that are committed with a direct and targeted reference to the respective school. This reference becomes clear either in the choice of several victims, or in the demonstrative attempt at killing a single person, insofar as they were selected as a potential victim because of their function at the school. "Amok runs or mass murders by young people in schools" and "serious targeted acts of violence in schools" are common paraphrases of the term.

11 1.2 · Case study: Moses Lake, Washington

1.2

Case study: Moses Lake, Washington It would be cool to kill people. (Barry Loukaitis in the run-up to his school shoot)

On September 2, 1996, Barry Loukaitis, then 14, entered a classroom at Frontier Junior High School in Moses Lake, Washington. With his boots and long, dark coat, the boy is reminiscent of the hero of a western film. His classmates are already practicing algebra there. However, they don't have much time to be amazed at his strange demeanor. The teenager pulls a rifle out of his coat, under which he also carries two pistols on his hips. He immediately begins to fire at his classmates. Two students are fatally wounded. He turns to the blackboard and shoots his teacher in the back, who has just been writing an equation. Another girl is hit in the arm before Loukaitis stops firing. He then takes the frightened class hostage. Only a physical education teacher and former wrestler ends the situation by storming the room, disarming Loukaitis and holding him until the police arrive. A detail of the deed gives the event a strange impact. When Loukaitis shot his teacher, he turned around and said: "This sure beats algebra, doesn't it". What at first sounds like a spontaneous cynical remark turns out to be a quote on closer inspection. It comes from the novel "Rage" (1977) written by Stephen King under the pseudonym Richard Bachmann, which was published in Germany under the title "Amok". And the research shows that the fictional and real events are eerily similar. King's novel describes how a student also brings his firearm to school and kills his algebra teacher before taking classmates hostage. Julie Webber, an assistant professor of political science at Illinois State University, points out that there is another fact that connects Barry Loukaitis and Charlie Decker, the protagonist of King's novel. On the one hand, Decker is

1

The fact that he cannot meet his father's expectations of male behavior and suffers from the resulting coldness of feeling. On the other hand, he is full of anger that the father speaks badly about Charlie's mother in other people. Loukaiti's mother and the boy himself had been abandoned shortly before the crime by the father, who from then on lived with another woman. So can an over-identification of Barry Loukaitis with King's fictional character have played a role? In the criminal proceedings against the juvenile offender, it was later found not only that he owned a copy of the book, but also that a song by Pearl Jam may well have had another relevant influence. The song is based on the real case of a young person who demonstratively killed himself in his school. In the music video, a student shoots his classmates while saying "Jeremy spoke in class today". In addition, the prosecutor took it for granted that Loukaitis was strongly influenced by Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killers" (Infobox). So are King's book, Pearl Jam's song or Stone's film to be blamed for the act of Loukaitis? Did you get the young man to think killing someone else was "cool"? And even worse: kill yourself too? The situation turns out to be far more complex. It has been found that Loukaitis' family history has often included depressive disorders. This may not only have been relevant as an indication to check for possible psychopathological disorders in the boy himself, but certainly also had psychosocial consequences. For example, the mother reported that she had taken Loukaitis into confidence about her plans to shoot herself in front of the father and his new girlfriend. A situation that was likely to have burdened the 14-year-old boy considerably. It is also possibly no coincidence that the first student killed was of all people Barry Loukaitis ’intimate enemy, with whom he had argued for some time and who had recently insulted him violently. In an interrogation by the police, for example, the perpetrator claimed that he had a reflex over-

12

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Chapter 1 · Deeds

Infobox

I.

I.

Oliver Stone's 1994 film "Natural Born Killers" was based on a script by Quentin Tarantino and describes three weeks in the life of the lovers Mallory and Mickey. The two lovers with childhood trauma kill 52 people in cold blood during this time. They are accompanied by a sensation-hungry public that makes them media heroes, because with every act they leave a witness alive who can report their crimes. The theatrical version of the grotesque was only released by the voluntary self-regulation (FSK) of the film industry from the age of 18; an uncut

Version rated by the Legal Commission of the Central Organization of the Film Industry (SPIO / JK) as »questionable under criminal law«. Stone has been heavily criticized for his film and prosecuted after the occurrence of several counterfeiting acts. However, all proceedings ended in an acquittal. Several teenagers and adult gunmen named the film as an important inspiration - among them the two teenage perpetrators of Columbine High School and Kimveer Gill, who committed a killing spree at Dawson College in Montreal in September 2006.

managed to keep firing after he shot the first boy. Of course, the fact that Loukaitis had planned his school shoot long in advance, according to the Secret Service, speaks against a spontaneous realization of the crime. Over the course of a year he had told at least eight friends about his plans, asked them about ways to get ammunition, wrote several poems about death and had his mother drive him to seven different shops to find the right coat for to get his act. As a defense psychiatrist, John Petrich even claimed that the boy felt god-like before his rampage, until his notions of size were replaced by hatred and feelings of inferiority. Petrich attributed these ideas to a psychosis and justified that Loukaitis could no longer differentiate between right and wrong at the time of the killings (Infobox). This defense strategy could have saved Loukaitis from being sentenced to over 200 years in prison. In the further course of this book, however, other frames of interpretation for the phenomenon referred to by Petrich will be shown. Instead of a psychosis, numerous school shooters seem to briefly mix reality and unreality immediately before their act

experience that cannot be grasped with conventional categories of modern psychiatric classification systems. This experience is attributed to an overflowing imagination rather than a mental disorder. Infobox

I.

I.

Psychosis is an overarching term for various forms of severe mental illness, which are often associated with extreme impairments, to think clearly, to act and feel appropriately to the situation, to communicate effectively and to adequately perceive reality. Symptoms include delusions and hallucinations. In general, a distinction is made between physically justifiable psychoses, which can be traced back to a psychotropic substance or a disease of the nervous system, and functional or endogenous psychoses, the cause of which is not clearly determined. Presumably, interactions between hereditary predispositions and unfavorable environmental conditions cause their development.

This case study already makes it clear that hasty and singular attributions of causes in connection with school shootings do not make sense. It always comes down to the comprehensive

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13 1.3 · Data: The extent of school shootings

Consideration of several factors. Only in the interplay can they develop an effect which, under specific and definable conditions, leads to deadly decisions of individual students. Before going deeper into this problem, however, it makes sense to develop a basic understanding of the explosiveness and characteristics of school shootings and thus also to determine the relevance of the topic for daily work at and with schools.

1.3

Data: The extent of school shootings

Contrary to the public assumption, an analysis of the police crime statistics (PKS) shows that both the general homicide crime, as well as the homicide crime by young people and adolescents, which is more relevant to our topic, has decreased continuously and clearly noticeably in Germany over the last 15 years. It may now be assumed that this only applies to Germany, but not to the USA, as there are several school shootings there every year. However, comparative data from the Supplementary Homicide Reports (SHR) show that general homicide rates by young people in the United States also fell during the period under review. On the other hand, if you look at school shootings, the opposite picture emerges. Although there are no official statistics on this form of killing, international school shootings are always accompanied by considerable media coverage. Core data from this raw material was collected using newspaper and online archives, cross-researched and checked using the scientific studies and publications available to date. Where available, sources such as police reports, judgments or interviews with juvenile shooters were used by law enforcement authorities for cross-comparisons. This elaborate form of research made it possible to eliminate misinformation from the reporting and to draw as comprehensive an overall picture as possible of the acts that have occurred internationally to date.

Accordingly, the first school shooting took place on December 30, 1974 in Olean, New York. An 18-year-old boy brought firearms and homemade bombs to school that day. He set off the fire alarm and shot at the caretakers and the fire brigade hurrying up. The SWAT team (Infobox), which was still hesitant to react at the time, found the boy asleep when they were accessed. Songs from the musical "Jesus Christ Superstar" could be heard from his headphones. Infobox

I.

I.

SWAT-Team is the abbreviation for a US-American special unit of the police ("Special Weapons and Tactics-Team"), which is comparable with the SEK (Special Operations Command) of the German police. Intensive training and high-quality equipment enable the officers to effectively solve dangerous situations such as hostage-taking or amoklage.

While in the first ten years "only" a total of nine school shootings occurred, in the past ten years there were a total of 66 (measured up to January 1, 2007). An overview of the increase in this form of killing is shown in the graphical representation of the 99 school shootings that have occurred so far: In addition to the significant increase, it is noticeable that these crimes show a particularly strong increase from 1999 onwards. The most sensational act worldwide at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999 is certainly responsible for this, which resulted in a large number of imitation and follow-up acts. The frequency of acts carried out annually has decreased slightly since 2002, but is still at a very high level. The

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19 Mar 1982 21 Jan 1985 02 Mar 1987 05 Oct 1989 20 Jan 1983 04 Dec 1986 14 Dec 1988 11 Feb 1988 26 Sep 1988 15 Nov 1989

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⊡ Fig. 1.1. Frequency of school shoots

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Dec 30, 1974 May 28, 1975 Oct 27, 1975

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14 Chapter 1 · Deeds

15 1.3 · Data: The extent of school shootings

The slight weakening is presumably due to the fact that school and police authorities are increasingly able to identify and avert school shootings in advance. This assumption can be supported by a number of observations: In recent years, for example, high numbers of school shoots that were discovered in good time and therefore not included in the statistics have become known. Alone on the 7th anniversary of the school shoot at Columbine High School on 20.April 2006 caused more than ten acts prevented in time in the USA for a sensation. For example, in Riveton, Kansas, the plan of five teenagers between the ages of 16 and 18 to go on a rampage modeled on Columbine High School was announced. After learning of a threat over the MySpace.com Internet network, the school administration first spoke to some of the boys' friends to see how serious the clues were

8

take. When it turned out that the situation was serious, she then turned the police on. During a search, the officers found firearms, ammunition, knives and coded messages in the bedrooms, as well as documents about weapons and information about the upcoming Armageddon in the school lockers of some young people. Other students aged 13-14 wanted to cut their school's power and telephone lines just two days later in North Pole, Alaska. Under cover of the interrupted communication, they planned to kill several teachers and classmates. In this case, a classmate had informed his parents of the students' intent. The parents turned to the police, who were able to secure plans and weapons. The slight decline in the number of cases - which is still many times higher than before the beginning of the 1990s - can also be seen in

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⊡ Fig. 1.2. Frequency of school shoots outside of the US

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⊡ Fig. 1.3. School shootings 1999 to 2006

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16 Chapter 1 · Deeds

17 1.3 · Data: The extent of school shootings

the USA, but not in other countries. With the exception of two acts in Canada in 1975, school shootings were previously completely unknown outside the USA, but since 1999 they have been a constant to be taken seriously with an average of three acts per year. One possible reason for the slight decrease in the number of crimes in the USA and the simultaneous increase in these incidents internationally could be found in the fact that preventive efforts are being pursued at full speed in the USA, while elsewhere little has changed in recent years. This should be an important indicator for Germany in particular to intensify preventive efforts, since with a total of six acts implemented, this is the second largest accumulation of school shootings internationally alongside Canada. Of the remaining thirteen incidents outside the United States, two each took place in the Netherlands, Australia and Japan. Individual acts occurred in Austria, Sweden, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Argentina and China. When dealing with school shootings for a long time, it is also noticeable that acts with a high media presence often lead to acts of imitation that occur only a few days or weeks later. This becomes particularly clear when the actions of the past few years are summarized on a timeline. When looking at the graphic on the left for school shootings from the beginning of 1999 to the end of 2006, clear clusters of deeds are evident. While this clustering can be found from the frequent occurrence of school shootings in the mid-1990s up to 2002 (e.g. five acts between April 15 and May 20, 1999 and six acts between February 23 and March 30, 2001 ), frayed the structure from 2003 onwards. There are several conceivable reasons for this: 1. School shootings are more frequently discovered in advance through the imparting of research findings in the context of further training courses on severe targeted violence in schools.

1

2. Numerous acts are now taking place outside the United States. This reduces the impact of press coverage. The acts are not known to the same extent internationally and in the USA. As a result, they can only encourage imitations to a lesser extent. 3. In recent years, some serious acts of violence by adults in schools have come into focus, which by definition cannot be taken into account when considering school shootings. Multiple killings by adults in schools follow different set of conditions and are also not relevant for Germany to the same extent as school shootings by young people. If, on the other hand, one delimits the framework broader and includes both deeds discovered in good time and deeds by adults, then such clusters can also be seen after 2003. One example is the seemingly isolated school shootings on August 30 and September 29, 2006: If a broader framework is considered under the aspect of general and planned school violence, a series of events can be found in the period between the two school shoots, which the Have attracted public attention and encouraged imitation: ▬ August 30, 2006: 19-year-old Alvaro Castillo fired at the outside of his former high school in Hillsborough, North Carolina, injuring two students from flying glass fragments. Before that he had killed his father. When the police ordered him to stop, he immediately put down his gun, allowed himself to be led away and repeatedly shouted “Remember Columbine!” Into the television cameras present. September 13, 2006: 19-year-old Kimveer Gill shoots his former wife near Montreal School around. He kills a girl, injures nineteen other people, and shoots himself in the head after arriving police injure his arm. ▬ September 15, 2006: Two 17 and 18 year old boys are housed in Green Bay, Wisconsin

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Chapter 1 · Deeds

arrested on suspicion of attempting a school shoot at her high school. Numerous weapons are found in house searches. September 16, 2006: A youth shows up at his school in St. Louis, Missouri with a gun after sending a message to a friend that he would like to kill himself. The police were already there when he arrived. After the boy points the gun first at himself and then at the officers, he is shot three times by the police. September 18, 2006: A 15-year-old Canadian student arrested in Hudson, Quebec after making death threats on the same website Kimveer Gill had a few days earlier. September 27, 2006: A student and the perpetrator die when a school hostage situation in Bailey, Colorado is ended after four hours by police. The adult offender had threatened six schoolgirls. September 29, 2006: In Cazenovia, Wisconsin, 15-year-old Eric Hainstock shot and shot his headmaster.

Three incidents, all of which occurred on October 2, 2006, followed closely: ▬ In Cincinnati, Ohio, a 15-year-old schoolboy text messaged threatening to bring a firearm to his school. He is arrested at home and the school is sealed off. ▬ At Mohave High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, a former student brings a gun to school. When classmates notice him, they inform the school police. The boy flees and throws away his gun. Several schools are cordoned off for security while the police are looking for him. ▬ A 32-year-old man takes several hostages at an Amish school in Nickels Mines, Pennsylvania, killing five girls, ages seven to thirteen, and himself. Why are there waves of international counterfeiting and why there is prevention of serious school violence it makes sense to focus on a closer look at school shootings, which the following chapters will show in detail. Anniversaries of spectacular deeds also prove to be very relevant. It is particularly noticeable

14

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12 10 8 6 4 2

⊡ Fig. 1.4. Distribution of school shootings by months

0 JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP

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19 1.3 · Data: The extent of school shootings

usually on the anniversary of the Columbine High School rampage. Performed, planned and threatened acts of imitation accumulate annually at this point in time. For example, exactly one month, then a year, but also two years after this rampage, there were school shootings that explicitly related to the crime in Columbine. Especially April, with the anniversaries of Columbine and Erfurt in quick succession, as well as the usually accompanying mass media reporting, requires increased attention in Germany. Useful options for action for the early detection of such cases are shown in later sections. A look at the months in which school shootings are carried out shows that overall significantly fewer acts occur in the summer months from June to September. The reason for this is likely to be found in the holiday season: If summer holidays reduce school time, there is in fact less opportunity to carry out a school shoot. A focus on the victims of the crimes makes it clear that in a third of all incidents, only students were the target of the attacks, only school staff were the target of the attacks or both students and school staff were harmed. In four cases, in addition to students and school staff, these were even parents of the offender. It is

Type of victim School staff only School staff & students Only Parents & school staff or students

⊡ Fig. 1.5. Victims of school shootings

However, it should be emphasized that understandably it was not possible to measure the predelictic intent of the perpetrators, but the actual outcome of the crime had to be analyzed. It cannot therefore be ruled out that in individual cases other people could have been harmed if the course of the crime had developed differently. However, this is only of limited importance for practical consistency. One thing is certain: First and foremost, both school staff and students from school shootings are equally threatened. This must be taken into account in preventive considerations. While 130 people were killed and 314 injured in all crimes, the average per school shoot was 1.3 dead and 3.2 injured. It is by no means meant cynically to calculate the victims of these terrible acts in decimal numbers. Rather, it can be shown how important the most serious acts in Columbine (10 dead), Red Lake (13 dead) and Erfurt (16 dead) actually have in the overall picture of these incidents. As reprehensible as every single killing and injury during the school shootings is reprehensible and subject to consequences: Columbine, Red Lake and Erfurt fortunately have so far been exceptional in terms of the effects of these school shootings. This not least depends

Outcome of the fact suicide arrest shot

⊡ Fig. 1.6. Outcome of school shootings

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Chapter 1 · Deeds

together with the fact that in these cases the young people fired several times at people who had already been hit. They obviously wanted to make sure that they died. In the course of many other school shootings, the youngsters shot into the crowd rather indiscriminately or ended their rampage before more people were harmed. The outcome of school shootings is usually the arrest of the perpetrator. It should be emphasized that the young people have so far usually been held up by classmates or teachers. Police officers, even security guards from the schools, were only involved in a few exceptions, as they were usually too late to arrive at the scene. They then only took the young people who had already been disarmed into custody. However, this was no longer possible for one in five young offenders, as they killed themselves following his rampage. Others tried to commit suicide, but did not trigger the weapon that was already aimed at them. Only one young person was shot dead by the police during the course of the crime. Statistics can also provide some information about the perpetrators themselves. So only four of the school shooters were girls. All other acts were committed by boys (info box). The children and young people mostly acted alone. Only in two cases did two juvenile perpetrators jointly carry out a rampage at a school - in Columbine and Jonesboro. However, there are numerous cases in the USA and Germany that were discovered in good time in which more than one young person planned to carry out a targeted, serious act of violence at his school. In addition to the incidents in Kansas and Alaska already mentioned, in Germany, for example, in Deggendorf and Usedom, corresponding intentions were uncovered. In Deggendorf, Lower Bavaria, three 14-

year-old pupil half a year after the act of Columbine, killing the principal and another teacher of her secondary school. On Usedom, five students in a 10th grade had drawn up a death list of teachers and classmates. One of the boys had already calculated the amount of ammunition needed and confessed to killing after pupils had informed their parents, who in turn informed the school management. This turned on the police. Certainly, the number of confidants always increases the possibility that an intention to act will be discovered. In the case of school shootings, however, this goes beyond the mere possibility of accidentally "gossiping" one of the students.

Infobox

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Compared to their 51% share of the population, significantly fewer girls and women are registered and judged as suspects. According to the security report published by the Federal Ministries of the Interior and Justice in November 2006, the already low overall proportion of female suspects (23.7%) even continues to decrease with each stage of criminal proceedings. The proportion of female prisoners in Germany is now only 5.2%. The different gender distribution applies even more to children and adolescents. The proportion of female suspects for homicides, broken down by age group, is as follows: ▬ 8 to under 14 years: 0.24% ▬ 14 to under 18 years: 4.78% ▬ 18 to under 21 years: 9.82% ▬ 21 to under 25 years: 8.70% As a result, the 4% percentage of school shooters for girls is not a particular anomaly, but a well-known feature of (violent) crime: the average age of the school shooters is around 16½ years. In this age group, the share of the general homicide delinquency for girls is also a good 4%.

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21 1.3 · Data: The extent of school shootings

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In order to jointly carry out such a momentous plan, several individuals must be able at a specific point in time to override their inhibition to kill and want to override it. As will be shown, very specific circumstances must be present, which extremely rarely apply to several young people at the same time. If these do not match, some of the parties involved will usually notify third parties of the crime plans in good time. However, it is important that the people taken into trust also believe the respective student and react in good time. In the case of Jonesboro (Infobox), the two boys were only 11 and 13 years old, respectively. In addition to the act as such, the young age of the two school shooters also caused a public outcry in the USA. If such young children were previously considered to be particularly worthy of protection per se, a rethink took place in the aftermath of their deed. However, the educational system was not improved, but the penalties for child offenders were tightened. While Golden and Mitchell are discharged from an educational institution as adults, later child murderers in Ar-

⊡ Fig.1.7. Age of School Shooter

kansas a life sentence as they can be treated like adults. Infobox

I.

I.

In Jonesboro, Arkansas, on March 24, 1998, camouflaged Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden lured their classmates and teachers out of the school building with a false fire alarm. The boys armed with seven different firearms then fired into the crowd, killing four students and a teacher. Nine other students and one teacher were injured.

Apart from such exceptions, the average age of a school shooter is around 16 years. Almost two thirds of all crimes take place between the ages of 14-17. In most cases of school shootings, firearms were actually used in the perpetration.Sometimes the juvenile perpetrators also used explosives, striking weapons or gasoline. Bladed weapons are also of some importance as the sole act

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Chapter 1 · Deeds

Tool. In as many as ten cases, knives or other bladed weapons were used as the exclusive tool for a school shoot. Six of these cases were outside of the United States. Despite the predominant use of firearms, however, it should not be hastily drawn to the conclusion that a stricter weapon law in Germany could prevent school shootings with an acceptable safety effect. In almost all known cases, the young people acquired their weapons illegally

or stolen from a family member's gun locker that was broken into. Erfurt was an exception here - but the tightening of the Weapons Act, which was presented as a political solution, brings little real security. Even a simple kitchen knife can be used as a deadly tool when a student really wants to kill. In order to be able to deal with school shootings effectively and at an early stage, comprehensive educational resources and a rethink in German schools are required.

Summary School shootings are killings or attempts at killing by young people in schools that are carried out with a direct and targeted reference to the respective school. In contrast to the general murderous crime by young people, school shootings have increased significantly in the last decade. Increasingly, they are no longer just

Further reading on aggression and violence Baron, R.A./ Richardson, D.R. (2004): "Human Aggression. Second Edition «, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers Nolting, H.-P. (2005): »Learning case aggression. How it arises - how it can be reduced «, Reinbek near Hamburg: Rowohlt

On violence by adolescents Lösel, F. / Bliesener, T. (2003): »Aggression and delinquency among adolescents. Investigations of cognitive and social conditions ", Munich: Luchterhand Muncie, J. (2004):" Youth and Crime. A Critical Introduction ", second edition, London: Sage

to be seen as a US phenomenon, but rather as a global phenomenon, which particularly affects Canada and Germany. An analysis of the 99 acts that have become known shows that these are predominantly committed by individual male adolescents averaging just under 16 years of age with firearms.

On the killing crime Egg, R. (Ed.) (2002): »Killing offenses. Media perception, criminological findings, legal processing «Wiesbaden: Kriminologische Zentralstelle Heide, K.M. (1999): Young Killers. The Challenge of Juvenile Homicide, "Thousand Oaks: Sage

On School Shootings Newman, K.S./ Fox C. / Harding, D.J./ Mehta, J. / Roth, W. (2004): »Rampage. The social roots of school shootings ", New York: Basic Books Robertz, F.J. (2004): »School Shootings. On the relevance of the imagination for the commission of multiple killings by adolescents «, Frankfurt: Verlag für Polizeiwissenschaft Webber, J.A. (2003): Failure to Hold. The Politics of School Violence, "Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield

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Perpetrator 2.1

Life phase youth - 25

2.2

Case Study: West Paducah, Kentucky - Sept.

2.3

Evaluation: Results of US study results - 29

2.3.1 2.3.2 2.3.3 2.3.4 2.3.5

Psychopathological abnormalities - 31 Solitary behavior - 33 Crime planning - 33 Allegations and threats - 34 Serious personal incision in the run-up to the crime - 34

Further reading - 35

I had Robert in class myself for three years. He was an outsider, just a blank sheet of paper. (A.F. - teacher at the Johann-GutenbergGymnasium in Erfurt)

25 2.1 · Adolescent phase of life

A central question from the point of view of violence prevention is not only which acts are being committed, but also by whom they are being committed. If potential perpetrators could be identified beyond any doubt in the run-up to a rampage and subsequently dissuaded from their intent to commit the crime, then effective protection for all schools could be implemented. However, this idea turns out to be impractical in practice. No properties or characteristics can be determined that clearly identify a person as a future school shooter. Neither his appearance nor individual character traits give unmistakable indications of the potential risk that a student poses, nor do School Shooters always have identical properties or characteristics. A precise »profiling« of young school shooters is attempted everywhere in the press, law enforcement and in individual cases also in criminology, but the limitations used here are so far not sufficiently selective, as they only depict typical properties that are at least often found in school shooters . The psychologists Michaela Mendelsohn and Kenneth Sewell rightly emphasized that the pressure to identify profiles or warning signals has sometimes led to the creation of lists in the USA that cannot even come close to being justified by the existing state of knowledge. If they are nevertheless used, there is on the one hand the risk of a sham security of being armed against all dangers if one only pays attention to the respectively highlighted characteristics. On the other hand, students who are actually harmless can be prematurely viewed and treated as dangerous. Public labeling as potential violent criminals significantly damages the social life and self-image of such unjustifiably suspected young people. It must also be taken into account that violent behavior is generally not based on isolated personality traits, but is the result of numerous interacting factors. If enough problematic components come together in a person's life course and if he then gets into certain situations that are of particular importance to him, then after

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