Why Do Students Kill Their Class-Mates?

Detachment, Isolation, Dehumanization, and Emotional Estrangement from Human Relationships

A recently released phone video shot by 19-year-old Parkland, Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz, reveals a cold, callus young man who claims to “hate everyone and everything.”

Los Angeles Times reporter, Melissa Healy, compares Nikolas Cruz to Sandy Hook school shooter, Adam Lanza, and sees a commonality in isolation and “a profound sense of alienation from virtually all human relationships.”

The anonymous web on which we play and interact is clearly a double-edged sword. Healy notes:

Most adolescents and young adults come to recognize there’s a fundamental difference between going online and actually having a close personal relationship. But for kids who are not fitting in, that’s a very attractive alternative: You can hide or disguise who you are and what you’re thinking.

Many young shooters, however, have attributed motivation to wanting to be “known” indicating feelings of being unheard, invisible, insignificant.

The need to “belong” to be part of a “family” or something bigger than oneself has been reported to be at the root of adolescents joining gangs, cults, and being recruited by foreign terrorists.  While not joining, others feel in sync with terrorist’s ideologies, identifying with the intense anger but striking out as lone actors.

Another noted commonality of school shooters and mass murderers is fatherlessness by various…

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