Emanuel Mullins Enwr 106 2/7/00 Juvenile Violence-The latest craze? Two boys at an Arkansas middle school killed four girls and one teacher in what police called a carefully planned ambush on the afternoon of Tuesday March 25, 1998. Nine other girls and one other teacher were also wounded in the attack at the Westside Middle School, located in a quiet rural area just west of Jonesboro, Arkansas. In a similar incident in Littleton, Colorado, two students, cloaked in black trench coats and armed with guns and bombs, opened fire on the morning of Tuesday April 21, 1999 at Columbine High School, killing 15 people and wounding 28 others in the worst school shooting in U.S. history. What do both of these real-life scenarios have in common? All of these crimes were committed by juveniles or young adults. What is it that ignites such violence in troubled juveniles such as the ones mentioned? Many different factors cause violent behavior. In this paper I will explore the roots of juvenile violence in order to understand why the atrocious acts in Jonesboro, Arkansas and Littleton, Colorado were committed. Violence is not committed without a reason. Violence is the act of intentionally hurting someone. A number of reasons could lead to a violent outbreak. Individually, the more factors present in one’s life, the more likely that person is to commit an act of violence. Some factors that contribute to violent behavior include: homes where parents are abusive or absent Need for attention or respect Feeling constantly disrespected Access to or fascination with guns Each of the characteristics above can be summed up into two major categories, family problems, and social problems. Social problems were present in both the Westside Middle School and the Columbine High School murders. One thing that was associated with all of the murders was bullying. Bullying is where a child or g…
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