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Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite
Rebecca Coffey explores the topic of school shootings and tragedies at the hands of seemingly innocent individuals, individuals we see and interact with on a daily basis. I remember Columbine very vividly and reading the description of this tragedy and many others that span the years back to the 1920's refreshes the horrible emotions I felt when word of Columbine circulated through the halls of my own junior high school. For all the bravado that my eighth graders demonstrate for peer approval and teacher disdain, their 14 year old egos were shattered on that day. Suddenly we, the teachers, were no longer the "enemy", but their protectors until the ringing of the dismissal bell. Unfortunately many of those students do not have the luxury of heading home to the comforts of a loving and secure family situation. So, where does that leave them? Where does it leave our innocent children who only want to feel safe in school as well as home?
I commend Rebecca Coffey for her diligent research of the many situations of school/campus violence. Without stating literally with the fragility of our young people, she has made it quite clear in this study of crime in our schools. Because schools are supposedly gun free zones, they make an easy mark for the violently frustrated individual who is determined to indulge in his/her dark desire to control, whether or not other people have the right to live or die. Coffey also dispelled this reader's opinion that the male gender predominates these criminal activists. In her article, Coffey mentions at least three female murderers. I also found it interesting that only one of the mentioned murderers did not commit suicide. As a teacher I found the facts in this article both disturbing and heart wrenching.