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Recent School Violence: Were The Signs Missed?

Image by Keith Srakocic/AP

USC faculty are constantly in the forefront in the wake of everyday tragedies, supporting communities in crisis and lending expert opinions. As this story continues to unfold, please take a moment to read a reflection on the signs that were missed from Ron Avi Astor, a school violence expert and professor of social work and education at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

The following article, “School stabbing: Were warning signs missed?” was written by Stacy Teicher Khadaroo, and was originally posted on The Christian Science Monitor on April 10, 2014.

School stabbing: Were warning signs missed?

Was Alex Hribal a quiet, well-liked kid with nothing in his past that could foreshadow the stabbing rampage he’s accused of carrying out at his high school? Or did he have enough conflict in his life to give signs that something ominous was brewing?

Various reports are emerging one day into the search for answers after Franklin Regional Senior High School in Murrysville, Pa., became the latest school to suffer a mass attack on its students. Alex, 16, has been charged with four counts of attempted homicide, 21 counts of aggravated assault, and one count of possession of a weapon at school. He’s being held without bail and will have a preliminary hearing April 30.

Continue reading this article on The Christian Science Monitor website.

  • Jane Wheeler

    The incident that occurred at Franklin Regional Senior High School is a tragedy and it shows that some warning signs can be overlooked. Usually the media reports that the perpetrator was a “loner or on medication”. This time they try to portray that he was “typical”. I believe it was just a matter of creating new buzz and a story to make such “new” events more appealing without verifying all this information. Anyways, I think there needs to be more social workers and psychologist in schools to support students and staff with whatever psychological/mental problems they have before it devastates the school. So I also came across this article that will hopefully motivate aspiring social workers: http://www.gradschools.com/search-programs/social-work-msw/social-worker-salary

  • Edwin Carpenter

    I
    agree with you Jane, we really need more social workers and psychologist in
    schools so that they help students. In order to promote mental health, but
    still we really cannot help them if they are not opening up their problems.

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