School Shootings: Roots In Interpersonal Communication

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Many school shootings have roots in interpersonal communication. For example, the Umpqua Community College shooting involved an encounter between a teacher and a student (who ended up being the gunman). The shooter in the Virginia Tech massacre had issues communicating with other people, and his teachers were not aware of this, causing the problem to develop further. The way that the teachers and students communicated with each other played a large role in both shootings, so it is important to discuss how they should communicate with each other to prevent future school shootings. Interpersonal communication can be a useful tool in attempting to stop school shootings.
In the Roseburg, Oregon shooting Christopher Harper-Mercer is the gunman. Lawrence Levine is the teacher who Christopher Harper-Mercer killed, no one knows exactly why Harper-Mercer attacked the community college, but it was known that a few days before the shooting Mr. Harper answered a question in which Levine told him he was “kind of correct” (Turkewitz). Tracy Heu is a nursing student who was in the classroom during Harper-Mercer’s attack and witnessed what exactly happened during the shooting. Laurel Harper is the mother of Christopher Harper-Mercer, who encouraged his
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Erin Peterson and Julia Pryde were two of the students who were killed. Later their families sued for wrongful death, saying that the school should have notified students of the shooting earlier. After the shooting, a donation of over $100,000 went to each of the 32 victims’ families as well as the survivors. The state of Virginia offered an $11,000,000 agreement for all that were involved in the shooting, but the agreement was also a contract that the families of who suffered and lost their loved ones gave up all rights to sue the school, state, and

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