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There have been many recent incidents of multiple victim school shootings. This seems to prove that many people may not be on the look out for signs of violence, or be able to detect the early warning signs. However, we need to be constantly trying to create a safer and more friendly environment for our schools, family, friends, and other peers. In order to do so, one should learn the early warnings signs of violence that may lead to shootings:
• Excessive feelings of rejection • Excessive feelings of isolation and being alone • Being a victim of violence • Impulsive and chronic hitting, intimidating, bullying • Affiliation with gangs • Social withdrawal (e.g., gradual or complete social withdrawal) • Feelings of being picked on and persecuted (e.g., being teased, bullied, ridiculed) • Low school interest and poor academic performance (e.g., feelings of frustration, unworthiness, chastisement, and denigration) • Expression of violence in writings and drawings (e.g., overrepresentation of violence in writings and drawings directed at specific individuals over time) • Uncontrolled anger (e.g., expressed frequently and intensely in response to minor irritants) • Serious threats of violence (e.g., detailed and specific threats to use violence)
Hopefully, by learning these early warning signs of violence, we can prevent some very dangerous things from occurring. Ultimately, we will not only be saving ourselves, friends, family, and peers, but we will also be saving those kids who are considering maybe a school shooting or some other act of violence. It is so extremely important that students understand that it is in their best interest to report something that may demonstrate signs of violence. You never know what could actually happen, and whether or not you have the right to be suspicious. You must always take those things that demonstrate signs of violence very seriously. We just need to be on the lookout for these signs, in order to create a safer community and school for everybody. We do not need another repeat of this very terrifying situation that seems to keep repeating itself. After every single shooting, authorities search over all the shooter's things, and almost always seem to realize, YES, there were definitely signs and warnings of violence. So why did no one follow through and report it? We must learn to not be afraid to report these, or take some things too lightly, when in fact they could be extremely serious, and by reporting and recognizing these early signs, we will truly be protecting everyone.