We must recognize bullying as a risk factor in school shootings and eradicate it to help prevent further tragedies.
The April 20, 1999 Columbine massacre has been the road map for many school shootings that followed possibly including Friday's tragedy at Sante Fe High School. `
Amongst other things the alleged 17-year-old shooter wore a trench coat in 90 degree weather. It's been said he experienced significant bullying.
The alleged Santa Fe Shooter's black "duster" or trenchcoat.
Ten innocent victims were savagely murdered at Santa Fe High School; 10 others were wounded.
The Columbine shooters - Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold - routinely wore black trenchoats and were infamously known as part of the "trenchcoat mafia." They were also bullied.
The future shooters in their trenchcoats in the halls at Columbine High School.
Brooks Brown was a Columbine student, a childhood friend of Dylan Klebold and later became friends with Eric Harris.
In fact, when Brown met up with Harris in the parking lot just before the shootings began, Harris told Brown "Brooks I like you. Get out of here."
Friends Dylan Klebold and Brooks Brown in the Columbine High School auditorium.
The Columbine shooters in a homemade video showing some of the weapons later used in their killing spree.
In the following video Brown describes how Harris and Klebold were routinely bullied at their high school. He also opines it was easier to shoot up kids at the school than to fit in.
In Brown's opinion "that's the biggest lesson to learn about Columbine."
Why are we as a nation not seeing the connection between bullying and these tragedies 19 years post Columbine?
The WVPI is establishing a task force to address this issue and propose common-sense solutions to mitigate the risk. email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.