In 2007, Virginia Tech University suffered a great loss — 32 students and faculty died at the hands of a disturbed student who went on a rampage. Last January, a gunman killed 6 people and left 19 injured at a shooting at a town hall meeting in a grocery store in Arizona. Over the summer, shootings took place in a crowded movie theater during a screening of the newest Batman movie outside of Denver and at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. Friday, another shooting took place at an elementary school in Connecticut, killing 20 children and 7 adults.
These tragedies serve as a reminder to look for signs of trouble and to seek help before violence escalates.
Often violent behavior comes from students who have a mental illness that can be helped if caught early. Frequent loss of temper or vandalism can be signs of a person who needs help.
High School and college can be difficult times of transition — knowing how to look for the signs may help prevent school violence. Be the person who speaks up and stops a tragedy from happening at your school.
If you know about a weapon threat at school, don’t delay — tell a trusted adult or call the toll-free number 1 (866) SPEAK UP, a nationwide anonymous hotline.