Thursday, August 7, 2014

A History Of School Shootings...!

I always thought of the many school shootings we seem to have had lately as being a new thing. I was wrong!

According to this article I found over at KnowledgeNuts, they have been going on for many, many years! In fact, I was surprised at just how long they have been around.

School Shootings Are Not Just Modern Phenomena
By Debra Kelly on Tuesday, August 5, 2014

With the relatively recent rash of school shootings in the United States, educators, psychologists, parents, and politicians alike have struggled to rationalize just what drives a young person to commit such a horrible, horrible act. Bizarrely, school shootings and violence aren’t a new thing, and looking back through the centuries will show that schools have always been a hotbed of violence. From a bombing in 1927 that killed 45 people in Bath, Michigan to a 10-year-old girl who was shot in the face on a playground in 1890 by her angry classmate, school violence has haunted us for generations.

There aren’t many events that will evoke a national sense of sorrow, community, support, sadness, and grief like the news of a school shooting. It’s one of those things that is seemingly a recent development, with people eager to blame violent movies, video games, and other modern ideas like easy access to guns or parents more preoccupied with careers than their children.

While some of those issues may certainly be worth discussing, the tragic truth is that school shootings are not a new phenomenon.

One of the worst examples of school violence in the United States happened in 1927, when a farmer named Andrew Kehoe loaded a school with dynamite and set it off while class was in session. He killed 45 people, including 38 children. Kehoe spent several months discreetly hiding dynamite in the school, wiring it to explode with one trigger; when it was time, he started his killing spree with his wife. And when it was done, he set off a car bomb that killed himself and the superintendent of the school. When investigators cleared the rubble, they found unexploded dynamite still in the school, along with sacks of gunpowder. The wiring had shorted out, or the death toll could have easily included most of the town.

By all accounts, Kehoe was an angry man. He was known by the neighbors as one to experiment with dynamite, and as a man who had once killed a barking dog and a horse that was unwilling to work. His hatred toward the school started when, angry about the amount of school taxes he had to pay, he joined the school board and failed to get taxes lowered. He tried running for town clerk, too, and—unsurprisingly—wasn’t elected.

There are, sadly, also plenty of instances of school violence that have been enacted on students and teachers by others students.

In the April 25, 1890 issue of the Daily Alta California, there’s a painfully short article about a 10-year-old girl named Cora Brubach who was shot in the face by a classmate, angry that she had tattled on him for an unnamed offense.

In a 1919 edition of the Washington Times, there’s a similarly short article about a 19-year-old student named Robert Warner, who shot and killed his teacher in a jealous rage after she spurned his advances. And in 1949, Ohio State University fraternity pledge James Heer shot and killed a member of his fraternity after he was stopped from dragging his unwilling date back to his room. He offered the simple explanation that drinking made him trigger-happy.

The farther back you look in history, the more instances of school violence you find. In 1595, a normally harmless prank turned violent when William Sinclair led the traditional annual takeover of Edinburgh, Scotland’s high school in an attempt to get the faculty to start their holidays early. Normally, the students would bar the doors and occupy the school (hence the name of the tradition, known as “barring-out”). This year the students, who were no older than 14, were refused in their bid to start the holidays early. Before entering the school, they had armed themselves with swords and pistols. When men of the town broke down the doors to the school and attempted to end the occupation, Sinclair fired at the men and killed one of the town’s officials, a man named John MacMoran. Bizarrely, it was the principal of the school who was held responsible and fired, while the students, all sons of notable Edinburgh men, weren’t punished in the slightest.

I guess the sad truth is, we seem to never stop finding ways to teach ourselves to kill and maim. Worst yet, our next generation follows in our footsteps all too often.

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

9 comments:

Mamahen said...

I didn't realize it had gone that far back in history....History really does repeat itself...

HermitJim said...

Hey Mamahen...
Sadly, it does. This is one area I wish we could have done without!

Thanks for coming over today!

Chickenmom said...

Didn't know any of that Mr. Hermit.
Makes you wonder how some people can be so evil.
Cool here at 55. Need that hot coffee!

linda m said...

What really bothers me is that history keeps repeating itself. People just don't seem to learn from past mistakes and mishaps. Oh well, we will all have to answer for ourselves at the end. Cool morning here, I'm loving it.

John said...


I have a picture of a tombstone in a small cemetery near where I live. It goes along the same line. I can't load it here. I will put it on my blog-- http://johnnybgood46.blogspot.com/

Not sure of the year. I will try to find out. Late 1800's-early 1900's i think.

Dizzy-Dick said...

Evil deeds have been with us ever since man took his fist step on earth. There have always been some children who were really mean and bad. We had a few in my class way back in the dark ages. . .

JO said...

Didn't know it went so for back either. It is disturbing to think that we haven't been able to put a stop to this. But we haven't been able to stop adults from starting wars either.

Coffee on the patio sound nice before the triple digits hit again today.

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
I could sure use some of that cool weather down here.

Thanks for coming over today!



Hey Linda M...
We do seem to be slow learners, don't we?

Thanks for dropping by today!



Hey John...
I appreciate the link to the picture. Old graveyards are always interesting and can tell a lot about the times!

Thanks for coming by today!



Hey Dizzy...
I reckon every school has their bullies and bad guys.

Thanks, buddy, for coming by today!



Hey Jo...
I guess that bad guys will always be with us!

Thanks, sweetie, for dropping by today!

Linda said...

I hear people say all the time that school violence. child molestations, child murders are increasing. I don't think so. There is just more media coverage and awareness. Besides, as you pointed out, anything that harms children is sad for everyone. That guy that dynamited the school is certainly bizarre in his motivation.