Tackling the difficult and charged topic of weaponized school violence, A Relentless Threat: Scholars Respond to Teens on Weaponized School Violence examines some of the root causes that lead teen shooters to make the decision to kill their teachers and peers. This research and commentary on gun violence in U.S. schools positions the reader to understand its historical and political context and to reflect on its social and emotional causes. The book explores potential solutions to this uniquely American phenomenon through a variety of scholarly lenses. With a focus on research and pragmatic solutions, these academics respond directly to individual teen voices in an effort to recognize those stakeholders most often dismissed. This book includes discussion on U.S. firearms policy, ostracism, bullying, social media, capitalizing on shooter events, and programs in schools to prevent violence. A Relentless Threat: Scholars Respond to Teens on Weaponized School Violence establishes the groundwork for the second book by the editors (Dress Rehearsals for Gun Violence: Confronting Trauma and Anxiety in America’s Schools) by examining how we got to this point and what actions may be taken to stop future rampage shootings in schools.
Kjersti VanSlyke-Briggs is a professor of secondary education and educational technologies at the State University of New York, Oneonta.
Elizabeth A. Bloom is a professor of education and chair of the Education Program at Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY.
They are the editors of Resisting Reform: Reclaiming Public Education through Grassroots Activism.
Chapter 2. Considering Ostracism Events as a Precursor to School Shootings
Fatima Albrehi and Lukas Pelliccio
Chapter 3. Evolving Boundaries: Bullying, Online Intimidations, and Social Antagonisms
Brian M. Lowe
Chapter 4. What We Talk About When We Talk About School Shootings: Framing the Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting in the Twitterverse
Chapter 5. Macabre Money: Capitalizing on School Shootings
Heather J. Matthews
Chapter 6. Sandy Hook Promise: Research Informed Practices
Rachel Masi and Justin E. Heinze
About the Editors
About the Contributors
The contributors to this volume manage to provide a fresh, multi-disciplinary look at the timely subject of gun violence in America’s schools. The authors build a unique ground-up analysis by organizing the chapters around the views of students and teachers to produce a book that is uniquely thoughtful and thought-provoking.
This is a highly readable and thoughtful analysis of gun violence in schools with six chapters by different authors tackling key aspects of the problem from the availability of guns to social media aggression. The book also challenges questionable solutions marketed by the school security industry and advocates for prevention through school climate programs.
Gun violence is not inevitable. It is preventable. Students who are taught and encouraged to look out for one another, notice when someone is hurting, and how to get help are embodying the culture change we need to end gun violence. This book underscores the importance of a holistic approach to keeping schools safe: one that includes policy, research, and community-based programs all working together. By putting this body of research into action, we can prevent school shootings and protect our kids.
Amidst the oppressive and ongoing threats to our health, equity, and social justice, remains the insidious risk of school violence. This comprehensive work reminds us of the complex etiology of weaponized violence through the interpersonal examination of society inside and outside the school building. From the gun control debate to social media, readers explore the catastrophic effects of unresolved differences and the need to replace reactivity with proactivity.