Not Doing Enough For Troubled Kids

Are we doing enough to identify children coping with emotional upheavals before they harm themselves and others?

Obviously not.

On Monday, an 8-year-old student took a knife to school in Sauk Rapids, Minn. He slashed three other children before an adult disarmed him. All three victims suffered only superficial wounds.

Details about the attack were sparse on Monday, but it is known that police interviewed the assailant, then released him to the custody of his parents. It appears he is not viewed as a threat in the future.

Why did he do it?

Why do children anywhere, of any age, lash out violently, sometimes killing many of their peers?

Why do some react to pressure by entirely different — yet similar, in a way — behavior, in taking their own lives?

An enormous amount of research has been conducted on the problem. Few conclusions — other than to watch for children who are “loners” or are behaving differently than usual — have been reached.

Obviously, simply labeling youngsters, especially teenagers, as threats because they are “different” is neither wise nor right.

Clearly, however, we as a society are not doing enough to identify and help these children. More needs to be done.