This was learned from bullying as a trigger for school shootings in the US

According to American researcher David Reitman, bullying is a significant factor behind school shootings, but it is by no means the only factor.

The shooter in Wanda told police his motive was bullying. A similar motive was initially suspected in Finland's first school shooting in Rauma, but court documents cited mental health issues as the final cause.

The Jokela and Gauhajoki school shooters were also allegedly bullied at school, but in their case bullying was not the motive for their actions.

The link between school bullying and acts of violence has only been studied this year in the United States Ten An incident resulting in multiple injuries or deaths.

Produced by US intelligence in 2019 Analysis Bullying was at least one motive in 46 percent of the cases included in the analysis.

American researcher David Reitman reminds us that bullying is not the only reason behind school shootings. David Reidman

Bullying is not the only reason

The US investigator and school shootings are related K-12 School Shooting Database– Founder of the database David Reidman It's a reminder that while bullying is a significant factor behind school shootings, it's by no means the only factor.

He says an incident similar to the Wanda school shooting happened in the US last January, when a student in Perry, Iowa, returned to school on the first day from winter break with a handgun and a rifle.

And in this case, she alleged that she had to suffer severe bullying for a long time and in the days leading up to the act, it started affecting her younger sister as well.

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– But there are also cases where there is no evidence of bullying. Chances are the teacher is academically successful and a highly sought after student with a bright future ahead of him. Bullying is a factor, but not the only factor, says US researcher Ildalehde.

People hold signs in memory of the 21 people who died in a school shooting in Texas in 2022. AOP

Like the nation's intelligence community, Reitman has investigated many acts of violence in the nation's schools. According to him, the US Secret Service has been pursuing cases since the 1999 Columbine school shooting. Reitman's own analysis covers cases dating back to 1966.

— Of these 220 cases, he says, in fifty cases, that is, less than one-fourth, bullying was clearly intended.

In about fifty cases, there was insufficient information about involvement in acts of bullying, and in the remaining about 120 cases, there was no evidence of involvement in bullying.

Difficult to prevent

According to Reitman, there are many reasons that lead to these tragic events. In addition to bullying, the perpetrator may have had problems with school success, depression or psychological disorders may be the underlying cause.

In some of the cases he has investigated, it has also been a hate crime.

– Weeks before the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, there was a case in Kentucky where the shooter said he was bored and wanted to do a school shooting as an experiment. The criminal tossed a coin to see whether or not he would shoot that day, Reidman cites as an example.

Reidman uses the analogy of a chewing gum machine to explain the causes that lead to school shootings. By then a school shooting has all the potential to lead to the death penalty. Sometimes only one gum ball falls out of the device, sometimes all of them fall out.

– The reasons that lead to school shootings can be a combination of all these factors or just one of them. That makes these cases more complicated, Reidman says.

According to Reitman, there are about 60 million students in the United States alone. Many of them may have had factors in their lives that led others to school shootings. However, only a fraction of these students kill others.

– Pieces of this puzzle can be put together after the incidents, but none of them really work as a deterrent because only a small percentage of students with these factors end up being violent, Reitman says.

Because of this, he says, school shootings can never be prevented.

Reitman says the way the school community works helps when one of the students raises concerns about a classmate's strange speech. In examinations after school shootings, evidence is often found that the perpetrator expressed his intent to commit violent acts prior to committing the crime.

– In this case, adults in the school community should listen non-exclusively and take action. If someone gets into a crisis that leads to violence, for example being ostracized from the school community doesn't stop them from coming back with a gun.

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30,000 people gathered in Chicago in 2018 to show their support for the survivors of the Parkland, Florida school shooting. AOP

Gun control is important

For him, Reitman emphasizes that gun control is also critical to preventing school shootings. In the U.S., school shootings are often followed by toughening of the country's gun laws. Actions were also taken in Finland after the Jokela and Kauhajoki shootings.

– Weapons must be secured out of the reach of a child. Adults should also be taught this. Reidman says they need to understand the risks of having a gun in the home.

The shooter in Wanda said bullying was his motive. Leasima below

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