Sage McCollister
March 15, 2000
Sociology 301.05
Introduction to Social Research
Mr. Roland Werner



Why White Adolescent Males Kill in School

Sage McCollister
San Diego State University



Keywords: white adolescent males, school shootings, guns, middle-class, suicidal rampages, neglect, depression, revenge killing, violence, mood disorders

Abstract: Juvenile violence was at one time thought of as something that minority groups had to deal with. Guns were primarily being used in gangs, and in the slums of large cities. However, in recent years we have seen a surge of upward movement in the amount of white male adolescents using guns, especially in the school system. These killing rampages have become all too familiar news, but that does not lead us to why they are occurring. Mainly this problem is happening in white, middle-class neighborhoods. Parents, classmates, teachers, school administration, and the community all play large parts of this picture. If the cards happen to fall the wrong way all of these elements will contribute in one way or another to the teen becoming a killer. There are many jumping off places to where this problem can begin. Children are being raised on television and in a world of violence. It seems as though everything around them is violent in nature; television, computer and video games, movies, song lyrics. These things are encompassing their world, and as they grow up they are learning that these are the ways in which to solve problems. Other aspects of this problem seem to be a breakdown in the family structure, possibly having extreme anger towards their peers and those around them, being severely depressed, or occasionally it may begin with thoughts of being homosexual. In any of these cases, there can be an intervention before it reaches the point where the teen thinks that he must kill to solve the problem. In some cases it may not be altering the person himself but the environment that he lives in. Many times it is outside forces that drive him to the breaking point. I intend to show why this happens and how it can be prevented.

Copyright 2004 by Social Systems Simulation Group and Sage McCollister. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or author.


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