This blog is based on the article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44092A675/ns/..
My last blog was entitled School Violence Averted – This Time. Now, only days later, school violence was not averted. A principal in Memphis was stabbed to death, allegedly by a 17 year old student.
I always stress that no matter how horrific the crime, no matter how compelling the evidence appears, we must not go from accusation to conviction without allowing our criminal justice system to work. This should be no exception.
However, the article states that the offender has acknowledged to the police that he had planned to stab the principal because she had made him mad. He also knew he would be alone with her.
We can discuss this without suggesting innocence or guilt of the accused. There is a lesson to be learned, irrespective of who the perpetrator was.
A criminal investigation has begun. In addition to putting together a prosecutable case with physical evidence, forensic evidence, interviews and statements, the investigators will search for signs that the accused communicated his intent.
Often, students who committed acts of violence at their schools, told someone, if not several people of their intent. At times, their plan was clearly spelled out, verbally or in writing. Other times, there were vague threats, comments or behavior that may have been a warning sign. These warning signs are not taken seriously and go ignored, because we all fail to see that potential in people with whom we have a relationship.
While it is possible that the perpetrator of this horrendous act kept his plan to himself, I suspect that the police will find that he did share his plan with at least one person. Whoever was privy to this murderous plan, probably a friend, could not see that dark side.
Our challenge is to learn what the warning signs of impending violence are, to recognize them, and to accept that even someone with whom we are close is capable of violence. Then, we must take appropriate action.
This was another senseless murder. This must stop.