Spotting Warning Signs of Violence

The youth who allegedly killed three students at a Chardon, Ohio, school Monday was enrolled in another education facililty for “at-risk” teenagers.

Even though his motive for the shootings, which also wounded two other students, is unknown, the assault raises new questions about how well at-risk students are monitored.

Much remains to be learned about what triggered the rampage. Most important, were there signals warning he might be dangerous?

A variety of concerns ranging from lack of parental support to psychological problems prompt educators to label specific youths as “at risk.” Especially in situations such as this one, jumping to conclusions is risky.

Especially since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, an enormous amount of study has gone into what makes some youths kill. One conclusion has been reached: Troubled youngsters need to be watched closely for signs their behavior may turn violent. Determining whether better monitoring of the alleged killer in Chardon might have prevented his attack may save lives in the future.