In taking into account what exactly a school’s responsibility is in dealing with a “loner” in a scholastic and social environment, there are many factors you have to consider. The first one, and main one, being interpretation. Yes, school shootings are horrific events and something that should never occur. To have the safety and sanctity of a school breached is sickening. Parents have enough in this day and age to worry about, let alone having to take into possibility that their child will be in danger at school, which is supposed to be a place of learning and for many sanctity. Where is a child safe? The only two answers used to be: school and church. Sadly, neither of those are the case any longer.
However, when a disgusting event, like a school shooting, occurs, the first thing we do as a society is try to figure out who to blame. Far be it for us to lay the blame solely on the disturbed attacker. No, instead we look for an adult to be a scape goat. We have to mull over the “woulda”, “shoulda”, “coulda” scenarios in our mind, perhaps to try to make it logical to us (which is impossible) or perhaps to try to make us have a false sense of satisfaction and security. The truth is, there is no scape goat. There is no one person, other than the assailant, that could’ve definitely thwarted the action. We don’t feel comfortable with this answer because it leaves us feeling vulnerable and without a plan of attack, but it is the truth.
For the sake of debate though, let’s take a look at the common argument that parents have, and that is that the school is responsible and should’ve recognized the “loner” who ultimately “snapped” and did something preventative about the situation. This is where interpretation comes in. Who is to say who is and who isn’t a loner? Think back to your days in high school. Everyone had at least one or two people they knew who could’ve been classified as “loners”. Did they all become psychopathic killers? The common answer would be NO and that is because these crimes are not common or even probable. They’re freak occurrances of nature that no one could’ve forseen or prevented, no matter how much you try to argue the point. People are “loners” for different reasons. Some because they just don’t go out for the school spirit. Not everyone is a cheerleader. Some people are loners because they have a job and life outside of high school. Some people are loners because they’re the creative type and don’t see the world in the cookie cutter image their peers do. Does this mean they should all be pinpointed and counselled? Some of the greatest minds in American history were loners and lived to the beat of their own drum. What if someone would’ve “counselled” and altered the behavior of George Washington? Shakespeare? Edgar Allan Poe?
Often people classify loners who are into music, video games, fantasy, horror films, or artwork as being potential hazards. That is again a stereotype. A huge portion of Americans watch horror films every day, but does all of those people run right out and copycat those crimes? No. We’re talking about a very small percentage who may, and if they do it’s because of a mental or social instability, not because their hobbie pre-disposed them to be killers. Also, there’s the point of what would happen to these supposed “hazards” if you isolate them and treat them as if they were animals who had to be locked in a cage and observed. Don’t you think that would only help to make them more dangerous?
Is it the school’s place to step in? Absolutely not. A school is supposed to be a place for students to thrive and blossom, not to be isolated and treated like a different species. That happen enough on it’s own without the aide of faculty. Perhaps we should divert our attention to making sure that the schools isolate the bullies that push these individuals to points beyond humane capacities. Or perhaps we should even look at the parents of these bullies for raising children who could do such hateful things. Everything in life is cause and reaction. By no means is it permissable or even acceptable that these killers did what they did, but perhaps if they were treated more like everyone else instead of being ostracized in the first place, things would’ve turned out differently.