School Violence

October 9, 1998 • Volume 8, Issue 38
Are American schools safe?
By Kathy Koch

Introduction

Michael Carneal pleaded guilty due to mental illness on Oct. 5, 1998, in the Dec. 1, 1997, shooting at Heath High School in West Paducah, Ky., in which three students were killed and five injured. Carneal, now 15, will receive the maximum penalty: life in prision without the possibility of parole for 25 years. (Photo Credit: John Sommers, Reuters)
Michael Carneal pleaded guilty due to mental illness on Oct. 5, 1998, in the Dec. 1, 1997, shooting at Heath High School in West Paducah, Ky., in which three students were killed and five injured. Carneal, now 15, will receive the maximum penalty: life in prision without the possibility of parole for 25 years. (Photo Credit: John Sommers, Reuters)

A White House conference next week will grapple with violence at public schools, including the shooting rampages last year that left 13 students and teachers dead and 47 wounded. While it was not the bloodiest year in U.S. school history, it will be remembered as the year teens turned to mass murder to solve adolescent problems. Since then, schools have adopted zero-tolerance policies on threats, established hot lines for threat tips, installed metal detectors and instituted dress codes. Many states lowered the age at which youths who murder can be tried as adults, but lawmakers refused to close gun-law loopholes that allow teens access to guns. Many parents and school officials, meanwhile, blame the deaths on society's steadily increasing glorification of violence.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Violence in Schools
Feb. 15, 2008  Discipline in Schools
Feb. 04, 2005  Bullying
Jan. 09, 2004  Hazing
Mar. 10, 2000  Zero Tolerance for School Violence
Oct. 09, 1998  School Violence
Sep. 11, 1992  Violence in Schools
Aug. 13, 1976  Violence in the Schools
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Education Policy
Gun Control
Teenagers