Date of Award
Union College Only
Bachelor of Arts
school, lethal, violence, cases, level
Although there are claims that lethal school violence represents a moral panic, it indeed is a modern social problem – but not an issue that is merely modern in nature. Studies on cases of lethal school violence previously focused on cases at the primary and secondary school levels. The results of these studies conclude that no profile for a perpetrator of lethal school violence exists, because prior perpetrators did not necessarily share all of the same characteristics. However, there are certain characteristics present in many of the perpetrators that these studies compile and use to establish guidelines to identify potentially dangerous behavior. This thesis contains a literature review of works focused on lethal school violence, as well as an analysis of lethal school violence through sociological theories on deviance. It attempts to extend the existing literature on cases of lethal school violence at the primary and secondary school levels to cases at the postsecondary school level. Using case studies of the nine cases of lethal school violence at the postsecondary school level for which there was sufficient data available, this thesis concludes that there is no profile for a perpetrator of lethal school violence at the postsecondary school level. Although there are some similarities between cases, the perpetrators and motives differ and cases of lethal school violence at the postsecondary school level differ from cases at the primary and secondary school levels.
Gallagher, Alexandra T., "“This didn’t have to happen : lethal school violence as a modern social problem" (2009). Honors Theses. 1306.