Youth violence

MScoleman at MScoleman at
Fri Apr 23 08:07:44 PDT 1999

In a message dated 99-04-22 10:31:15 EDT, you write:

<< I would like to see a longer dicussion of the idea that student rage at

school has a source within contemporary schooling--as opposed to blaming it

on a failed society (liberal answer) or failed families/personal values

(conservative answer). >>

I think this spate of school killings has to do with the lack of diversity in rural, upper-class communities, which is where all these disasters have taken place. In every case, the press has reported that these children (all males, all white) have been misfits in some sense. In a more diverse society it is more difficult to be a misfit. Also, these kids have lots of free time and access to large incomes -- without rational guidance. I know this sounds puritanical, but idle hands.... The kids in the inner city who live in an apartment, go to school, work in Macdonald's and sing in the church choir are: a) too busy to build bombs b) live in close enough proximity to mom, or less often to mom and dad, so they can't hide what ever in going on in their lives c) don't have the money to buy guns and the makings for bombs.

Despite the common misperception that inner city youth are in trouble, I think in many cases they are far better off than their wealthier, white, more privileged counterparts. We assume the kids in the suburbs are o.k., we shouldn't. Inner city kids may face their own sets of problems, but they aren't committing mass murder. maggie coleman mscoleman at

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