At 7:37 AM this morning the CBS Affiliate, KDKA 2 News, reported a “multiple stabbing” at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville Pennsylvania. Early reports, including an interview with Dan Stevens of Westmoreland County Public Safety, indicate that as many as 20 people were stabbed by a single individual. At this time it is being reported that 4 of those stabbed were in serious condition and had been transported via air ambulance to local medical centers.
The attacks occurred inside the school as students and teachers prepared to start the day. It appears that a single male student entered the school with a knife and began running through the halls and classrooms stabbing both students and teachers. It is unclear at this time why the attack occurred. The severity of the wounds suffered and the larger number of people wounded by the student does point to the need for better education for students and faculty.
Attacks of this nature are seldom truly random, the person or persons that perpetrate acts of violence such as this have a motive. This latest act of school violence, along many of those that have happened recently, may have been stopped before they occurred with better education for both student and faculty. Students of all ages need to be better taught how to handle feelings of anger, aggression and disappointment. Children need guidance on what concepts like respect, courtesy and self-control mean and how to exercise them in daily life. Currently a majority of our youth get their “character education” from movies, television and video games. All of these sources portray violence as “sexy” and acceptable ways to deal with the negative things that happen in life. This is a trend that must be stopped. Development of better “character education” programs in school is becoming imperative.
School teachers and faculty members can also play a large role in turning the tide of school violence. To do so they need to be trained in how to deal with violence when it occurs, how to spot the potential for a violent episode and how to help students deal with issues without resorting to violence. This is a big task and a major addition to the already tough job of making sure the students are learning their core educational information on a daily basis.
Prayers go out to the people injured in the attack this morning. Everyone involved, even witnesses and other members of the school not present at the time of the attack, has a long road of healing ahead of them. The best possible outcome for all involved is for healing and learning to occur together. May all who were injured recover fully while the community and school learn ways to keep this sort of violence out of their schools for good.