The Columbine High School Shootings

The Columbine High School Shootings

Length: 1406 words (4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
On April 20, 1999 in a suburban town called Littleton, Colorado one high school was about to have one of the most tragic and deadly days in US history. Columbine High School was in the forefront of this tragedy. Two students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, opened fire on their fellow classmates and teacher. These two students cut the lives short of thirteen students and one teacher. They then turned their guns onto themselves leaving the nation with no answers as to why? They did leave videotape. This videotape contained Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold planning their attack on Columbine High School. This piece of evidence showed two students that were not part of the "in crowd". They were outsiders, losers, as some would consider them. They were taunted, humiliated, and disrespected by their classmates. But how can two intelligent students do something as deadly as they did. Was it because they had bad parents? Not at all, they even went out of their way to save their parents the blame by repeatedly saying that it was not their fault that they were about to do what they did. So what was the cause of all this tragedy and how can it be stopped so it can never happen again in our middle schools and high schools? Elliot Aronson a social psychologist wrote a book called Nobody Left to Hate, Teaching Compassion After Columbine. This book represents his ideas on how to use certain strategies to have a better school environment that teaches compassion, tolerance while putting education in a winning situation. Aronson discusses the Columbine High School in depth, talking about the short cut solutions or pump-handle intervention as he calls it that schools and legislation passed soon after the Columbine tragedy. He then offers solutions that are more focused toward students as "social animals" in a school situation. In this book he makes it a point that teachers are at the forefront of these solutions and gives them certain class activities that can help teachers have better students and also better themselves. He states that it is their job to show cooperation, empathy and compassion as well as practice it themselves. Aronson's book Nobody Left to Hate is a step that needs to be taken towards a better school environment. We can learn a lot about the tragedy that happened in Columbine High School and if this tragedy is taken like another passing moment with no clear solution then one day it can happen again.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Columbine High School Shootings." 16 Jul 2018

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Columbine High School Shootings

- On April 20, 1999 in a suburban town called Littleton, Colorado one high school was about to have one of the most tragic and deadly days in US history. Columbine High School was in the forefront of this tragedy. Two students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, opened fire on their fellow classmates and teacher. These two students cut the lives short of thirteen students and one teacher. They then turned their guns onto themselves leaving the nation with no answers as to why. They did leave videotape....   [tags: School Shooting Psychology Essays Acceptance]

Free Essays
1406 words (4 pages)

The Motivation Behind the Columbine High Shootings Essay

- The Motivation Behind the Columbine High Shootings Every major spectacle carries with it the potential of a new way of looking at the past and implications of a future. Usually within a brief period after the event, a consensual "explanation" is fashioned through the news media and by the political pundits who occupy much of the space and time dedicated by the media to the event. Political pundits seated in front of the camera become part of the event, often becoming a part of the process of transforming an event in time to a spectacle....   [tags: Columbine High School Violence Murder Essays]

Research Papers
3724 words (10.6 pages)

We Must Work to Prevent Mass School Shootings Essay

- There have been many horror stories in the news about mass shootings at schools. The public, and even the president of the United States, is asking if anything can be done to prevent these tragedies. There are many theories on why students kill their peers at schools; these range from increased violence in video games and movies to bullying troubles at school. Almost always, the perpetrator suffers from some form of mental illness (Khadaroo). Because of this, motives for these crimes are extremely difficult to discern....   [tags: Mass Shootings, School Shootings Essays]

Research Papers
1409 words (4 pages)

Dylan Klebold's Motives in the Columbine High School Shooting Essay

- “People are so unaware...well, Ignorance is bliss I guess… that would explain my depression.” (Klebold, Dylan). With that sentence, I divulged myself into the most horrendous, sad journal I have ever read, hoping to gain some insight into a disturbed young man’s mind. On April 20th, 1999, Dylan Klebold accompanied his friend, Eric Harris, in one of the most publicized and shocking school shootings of the modern day--The Columbine Massacre. With their sawed-off shotguns and godlike dispositions, the boys exacted their revenge not only on their peers, but on themselves....   [tags: Mass Shooting, Gun Crime, School Shooting]

Research Papers
1979 words (5.7 pages)

School Shootings in America Essay

- You are in the mall and someone yells everyone "'Get down!" Or I will shoot." Your first instinct is to hit the ground before shots are fired. Now imagine that in the school cafeteria. Scary, right. As scary as it sounds scenarios from horror movies are playing out in schools all over America. You are eating lunch in the cafeteria and a student enters the cafeteria and starts firing off a firearm. First instinct is to scream for help and get on the ground, but why are scenes like this taking place in the learning place....   [tags: Mass Shootings, School Shootings Essays]

Free Essays
921 words (2.6 pages)

School Shootings in America Essay

- Family environment and the press are two major influences resulting in the recent tragic school shootings. As much as society continues to focus the killing rampages on factors such as television and music, what children are exposed to in reality contributes to the violence. The most recent school shooting in Michigan involved a six-year-old first grader who killed a classmate with a .22 caliber pistol. The news coverage had vanished after two or three days, and I was left wondering what had happened....   [tags: Mass Shootings, School Shootings Essays]

Free Essays
509 words (1.5 pages)

Preventing Mass School Shootings Essay

- December 1, 1997, Michael Carneal, a freshman in West Paducah, Kentucky opened fire on his classmates, killing three and wounding five. One year later, on March 5, 1998, Mitchell Woodward shot and killed five classmates and wounded eleven in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Just one year after that, Eric Harris and Dylan Kleibold committed the most heinous act of school violence in United States History in Littleton, Colorado. There, in Columbine High School, Harris and Kleibold killed twelve students, a teacher and later took their own lives....   [tags: Mass School Shootings Essays]

Free Essays
1722 words (4.9 pages)

Preventing Mass School Shootings Essays

- In order to solve the problem of violence in schools, we must first find out who the problem is. Being that not every teenager is prone to participate in such violent acts as what happened at Columbine, there must be specific environment imposed on a particular biology to turn a teenager into an Eric Harris or a Dylan Klebold. These are not normal, healthy teenagers, and they don’t just become killers overnight. They become killers because they are already deeply disturbed individuals who can be sent over the edge by all sorts of innocuous influences....   [tags: Mass School Shootings Essays]

Research Papers
1426 words (4.1 pages)

Essay on Mass School Shootings in America

- If someone were to rely solely on television media, it wouldn’t surprise me if he/she thought that America’s schools were being taken over by these so-called “juvenile super predators.” The American people would assume that every quiet kid who gets picked on is going to turn around in school one day and start unloading his newly acquired firearms on his peers. This is hardly the case. While there may be an occasional “super-predator,” the media has highly over publicized these rare, extraordinary events....   [tags: Mass Shootings, School Shootings Essays]

Free Essays
675 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on Columbine

- School violence, is an issue that is hard to deal with. There are things that may be done to decrease it but it does not seem like it will ever go away. Parents send their children to school to learn, to have fun, to pass notes, and to meet new people, not to be shot at and never have the chance to come home ever again. They should not have to think or be afraid of sending their child to school and never seeing them. Last year one of the worst school shootings took place at Columbine High School....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
1197 words (3.4 pages)

Related Searches

     Aronson discusses pump- handle intervention. It is solutions that is quite obvious but in many ways short cuts the problem and is not in most cases feasible to do in our democratic society. After the Columbine shootings Congress passed a legislation allowing schools to be able to post up the Ten Commandments. Aronson argues that these types of peripheral solutions won't solve the root of the problem "What is immediately apparent is that most of these cures are not based on solid evidence but rest on emotion, wishful thinking, bias, and political expediency."(p.10). He is also talking about putting forth gun control, putting metal detectors and security guards in school grounds, and clamping down on the violence that children see on television. Gun control has been an issue in this country for many years. Aroson cites other countries that have very strict gun control and is able to show that the US has the most gun related homicides. Aronson also points out that congress is dependent on financial contribution that the National Rifle Association gives them for their candidacy. Metal detectors and security guards is another pump-handle intervention. Aronson was quite concerned of its impact on schools that did not have a high crime. He felt that it would give students negative feelings of their school and it would seem that it was not safe. Another pump-handle intervention is to restrict the viewing of violence in the media. He cites that social psychologist found that there is a correlation to violence on television and violent response by a child depending on the way they are feeling. Aronson also states "there is a great deal of research showing that repeated exposure to painful or unpleasant events tend to have a numbing effect on our sensitivity to those events" (p.61). A solution to this is to have a rating system for violent shows and this Aronson believes is a good step in the right direction.

     Aronson also talks about the idea that humans are social animals. "It is a truism that humans are social animals that we are all deeply influenced by the other people and than ways they treat us, as well as by the general social climate of any situation."(p.21). He states that people jump into conclusion that the behavior was due entirely to the person's personality, but that we fail to put in the mix the situation. He explains that by simply labeling Harris and Klebold as evil it diverts people's attention away from understanding where these two boys are coming from. He then goes on to say that it is of vital importance that we attempt to understand how different social situations can lead to different outcomes. Aronson then explains how Harris and Klebold's social surrounding made them do what they did. These two were labeled in a negative manner by their peers and were taunted all the time, and this certainly played a role in their actions. In closing this chapter Aronson suggest "we must take a look at the broader social environment in which the shooters were embedded."

     With many years of experience in the field of social psychology strategies that Aronson offers in the book are very insightful and thought out. In a short way of putting it Aronson believes that communication between classmates is vital to a better school atmosphere. Teachers and the schools should imitate programs such as to promote better ways of dealing with stress and problems. Emotional intelligence as defined in the book is the ability of a person to be aware of, and to control, his own emotions. It is the ability to motivate oneself and to work with passion and persistence. Aronson believes that this is very important for children to know.

     Empathy and dealing with emotion are some of the subjects that Aronson believed to be important. Empathy, Aroson believed would be a useful tool to give students insight on how other students felt "If you developed the general ability to empathize, then your desire to bully or taunt anyone will decrease. Such is the power of empathy."(p.149). He also states that dealing with emotions in a group discussion is healthy for the person and the people around them. The jigsaw classroom idea is very good. Aronson promotes teamwork and cooperation in this idea that has been in effect in some schools for three decades. This idea is to have students working in a group with projects that is broken up in different sections for each student is going to have a piece of the subject to specialize in. This is good because children will learn to depend on each other becoming more respectful to each other. This process he believes opens up students to other students. "Once your heart opens to another person, it becomes virtually impossible to bully that other person, to taunt that other person, and to humiliate that person."(P.149).

     In the book Nobody Left to Hate is a good step in dealing with the problems in our schools. Maybe if some of the steps that Aronson had proposed before the tragedy at Columbine was taken then it could have been diverted, but then again we will never know. As a social psychologist Aronson goes into the root of many of the problems that students have and he puts into consideration the hardships that they go through. He somewhat puts a major burden on teachers as the principle character to teach students about empathy and working and socializing of the students. They are important but he forgot to mention the most important people in adolescent's lives, which are their parents. The Columbine tragedy should serve as an example to everyone that school would be less stressful if there was less taunting of people that seemed to be different. Overall, this book was very educational and even more useful for college students who plan to be teachers in the future.

Return to