Posts Tagged ‘Violence in Schools’
Children at Albertville secondary school in Winnenden, a small town not far from Stuttgart, were surprised to see a former classmate open the door, stand motionless for a second, then point a Baretta gun and begin shooting. As the shock of the shooting still reverberates around the world, education experts are seeking answers to the question of why did this supposedly normal teenage boy become a mass murderer?
Reporters interviewed his classmates in an attempt to find answers to the question. Linda, a seventeen year old who had known Tim for years, described him as “a quiet reserved guy, but not in an objectionable way.” Martin had known Tim since boyhood days and in his view: “Tim was never aggressive or conspicuous. He was simply normal just like everyone else. I saw him every day, who would have thought he had a ticking time bomb insider him?”
Police seized computers in Tim’s home and early reports indicate the boy may have played violent video games, but according to his friend Stefen: “Tim didn’t play more computer games or watch more television than me or any of my friends.” Most of the students interviewed who knew Tim describe him as inconspicuous, shy, adaptable, and introverted.
The teenager dressed in black who engaged in a shooting spree at his former high school in Winnenden near Stuttgart, left in his wake confusion and hysteria. A witness at the school said, “the gunmen must aprayed bullets all around him” and students were seen leaping from windows in a desperate attempt to save their lives. An earlier report claimed Tim K. had used a Baretta, but other reports indicate he used a machine gun.
Kevin Latzel, a German reporter told BBC the scene was one of horror, “parents are crying, the pupils are crying and a lot of police are there and nobody knows what really happened.” As in most of these cases, students used cell phones to call parents and asked to be picked up and allowed to leave, but police are not allowing any outsiders to enter the classrooms until they have done their forensic work. It is reported armed police stormed the home of Tim K. seized the 18 weapons in the house and arrested his mother.
The aftermath of such shootings creates many problems. Are parents allowed to see their children and offer comfort? Are children to be kept in the school while police do forensic work?
A seventeen year old boy, dressed in black, returned to his former school, Albertville Secondary, in the town of Winneden, entered at 9:30 a.m. walked into two classrooms, and began firing at his former classmates. Within a few moments he had killed ten pupils and three teachers as well as wounding many others. The boy left, hijacked a car and drove to the town of Wendlingen, where he was confronted by police who killed him during an exchange of firing. It was the worst shooting in Germany since the Erfurt school massacre in 2002 in which a former students killed 16 people before killing himself.
The boy is only identified as Tim K. and was described by his former teachers as inconspicuous. He left school a year ago after receiving his secondary school certificate and then entered a job training program. One of his former classmates described Tim K. as “deeply frustrated” but did not offer any specific explanation of what he meant by saying the boy was “frustrated.”
Police discovered at least 18 guns in the boy’s home and apparently he had taken an Italian made Baretta from his father’s collection of guns to use in the shooting spree. If it can be proved the father failed to lock the guns in a secure place, police may charge him with breaking the law regarding ensuring weapons in a home are not available to children.
The Finnish nation is still attempting to make sense of what transpired in the recent shooting of ten students by Matti Saari. A task force is engaged in a wide variety of tasks ranging from developing counseling programs for schools to assist students in coping with the second school shooting within a year as well as uncovering the actual events that occurred. It is now evident, Saari was talking on the phone even as he fired at his fellow students. Finnish educators note both shootings involved, in one way or the other, a cry for attention by two boys who outwardly appeared to have stable relations in school. The Finnish media in dealing with the shootings, commonly uses words such as sorrow, shock, fear, tragedy, evil, caring and inequity as they struggle for meaning.