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The Colorado Shootings

This web site provides one perspective on the recent shootings in Littleton, Colorado, an opportunity to share your views and engage in discussion via a message board, and links to other web sites about this topic.

One Youthworker's View of the Events

My condolences and sincere sympathy to the residents of Littleton, Colorado - to the parents, family members and friends of those killed and injured and to all those who experienced the tragedy and may live with its aftermath for a long time.

Like most people I have followed the events in the media and have talked to many people about them. While I have heard concern about how we can help the people directly affected by this tragedy and how can we prevent future occurrences, I have heard more comments which I consider destructive to healing and prevention goals.

Some of the trends which concern me are:

As youthworkers, I believe that we are in a unique position to offer some prevention approaches based on what we already know and do. We know the youth who are alienated and isolated, a favorite media phrase, and we have expertise in engaging and building relationships with them. We also have realistic expectations. I think of a young man who became an active and articulate advocate for youth issues while involved in a youthwork program. He had a history of violent and antisocial behavior which some would say precluded any success in life, yet for a few years he was successful. As he aged out of the program and lost the supports, he again became involved in destructive activities and was arrested for a violent crime. Was this a failure? I would say it was a failure that the system did not continue to provide the supports he needed but a success in that he was not involved in crime and violence for two to three years.

What can youthworkers offer to the prevention of violent acts?

I call upon youthworkers to insist on having their knowledge and expertise brought to the table. I have yet to hear a youthworker interviewed on national media about solutions to the problem. I hope this has happened and I just havenít heard about it.

What can youthworkers do?:

Go to the Message Board

Links to Other Sites

Yahoo Headlines A listing of news sites

Preventing School Violence Transcript of an online discussion with Dr. Pamela L. Riley, executive director of the Center for the Prevention of School Violence in Raleigh, N.C.

School House Hype: School shootings and the real risks kids face in America This site provides the kind of analysis needed to give worried parents and concerned policy makers the context by which to judge the safety of our institutions of learning

Gothic.Net A good site to learn what Goth is all about

Early Warning, Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools Based on the work of an independent panel of experts in the fields of education, law enforcement, and mental health

Youth Need To Be Part of Strengthening Our Communities National Network For Youth responds to the school shooting tragedy in Littleton, CO


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