For safer schools, we need more hugs, not more guns

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Students who feel disconnected from their community are more likely to lash out

HECHINGERREPORT | In less than 18 years, we have already seen more deaths related to school shootings than in the whole 20th century,” said Antonis Katsiyannis, Clemson University researcher and the lead author of a 2018 study on school shootings. “One alarming trend is that the overwhelming majority of 21st-century shooters were adolescents, suggesting that it is now easier for them to access guns, and that they more frequently suffer from mental health issues or limited conflict resolution skills.”

The vast majority of school shooters are white men; there’s apparently something about masculinity — seeing one’s body as an instrument of power and dominance — that contributes to a profound disconnectedness that can lead to violence when students are withdrawn from their teachers, students and family members.