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Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings Paperback – Bargain Price, May 4, 2005
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The social climates at the high schools attended by school shooters are typically vicious and hateful, with rampant sexual harassment of girls and women and antigay harassment of less dominant boys.
At Columbine High School, the most famous school shooting site studied in this book, jocks reigned supreme. The state wrestling champion, the leader of a clique of athlete bullies and the symbol of injustice for school shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, was allowed to park his $100,000 Hummer all day in a 15-minute parking space. The school indulged athletes' rampant sexual and racial bullying and physical abuse of others, including Harris and Kleboldand were given free license to abuse others. A coach did nothing when the athletes targeted a Jewish boy in gym class, singing songs about Hitler when he made a basket, pinning him to the ground and doing "body twisters" that left him bruised all over, and threatening to set him on fire.
Many of the school shooters featured in this book endured antigay harassment that contributed to their rage. Barry Loukaitis, who killed a teacher and two students in Washington state, was taunted by school jocks as a "faggot." Luke Woodham in Mississippi, who killed two students and wounded seven others, was often called "gay" by classmates. Michael Carneal, who killed three fellow students and wounded five in Kentucky, was labeled as "gay" in the school newspaper.Read more ›
The 1997 Heath (KY) High School and 1998 Westside (AR) Middle School shootings, on which the book is mostly based, offer fascinating and important insights into the role that small, tight-knit (and Christian) communities play in enabling the elements that contribute to rampage events. Newman also offers a valuable analysis of the often toxic adolescent social structure that is common to most school environments, with bullying and teasing as frequent a part of teen life as is bragging about getting even to prove one's status - which leads to both being typically ignored.
But the narrowness of focus on a limited number and variety of school shooting events may allow too easy conclusions to obscure the complexity of forces, motives and goals that are found in the whole constellation of campus-based mass killings, let alone other public forms of what Johnathan Fast calls "ceremonial violence" (such as likely just occurred at Fort Hood, TX).
For one, though firearms are by far the most common weapon used by school rampage killers, Newman limits her scope to gun-related events. As noted, she completely ignores college events.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I heard about this book, heard the author speak, on NPR news radio not too long after the Marysville Pilchuck High School shooting in October 2014. This is a tough subject... Read morePublished 7 months ago by T. Wood
Good overview of the problem; most importantly, the social environment underlying the perpetrators' rampages. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Mark Bruscke
This was a very interesting book that looks at different shooters and their motives for committing such heinous acts that were either due to bullying or major depression, the... Read morePublished 11 months ago by MOE