Monday's tragic school shooting in Chardon, Ohio, has left the community reeling and the nation wondering WHY??? Was T.J. Lane, the 17-year-old alleged shooter, bullied by other students? Was he dealing drugs? Was it over a recent break-up with his girlfriend? Was it because he was a lonely student raised by his grandfather rather than his parents? Those rumors and theories are all circulating in the media.
Right now, all we know is that three of the five students who were shot are dead. As we wait for more details and try to cope with such a devastating event, we all tend to search for one answer -- one solid reason that will give us hope that this sort of thing will never happen again.
Sadly, that one answer probably does not exist. As safety experts will tell you, "violence is the result of a recipe of influences."
The AP reported that the prosecutor of the case said Lane was "not well" and chose his victims at random. "This is not about bullying. This is not about drugs," Prosecutor David Joyce said. "This is someone who's not well, and I'm sure in our court case we'll prove that to all of your desires and we'll make sure justice is done here in this county."
While the (undoubtedly many) answers unfold, learn more about school violence and how to talk with your kids about this tragedy:
- What to Do About School Violence
- Explaining Violence and Tragedy to Younger Kids
- Talking to Teens About Violence
- Indications of Violence in Teens
- Poll: What's the Biggest Factor in School Shootings?
- Poll: Do Video Games and TV Shows Encourage Violence?