Newsweek

Nipping Student Violence in the Bud

Researchers say they can analyze words to tell which kids are most likely to become violent. Now what?
Researchers are looking into whether a test can be devised to predict which children will be violent in the future.
10_21_PredictingViolence_01 Source: Julian Röder/Ostkreuz

In 1998, 15-year-old Kip Kinkel murdered his parents at their home, then killed two students at his Oregon high school. In journal entries he wrote prior to the rampage, he expressed hatred for “every person on this earth.” Eric Hainstock, also 15, shot and killed his high school principal in Wisconsin in 2006. In letters from prison, he blamed the principal, his teachers and social services “for never listening to me.” And before 16-year-old Alex Hribal stabbed 20 students and a security guard with kitchen knives at his high school in Pennsylvania two years ago, he wrote a letter blaming his actions on teachers and society.

Nearly all experts agree: We need to

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