The shooting at Oxford School in Michigan by 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley over the past few days has claimed the lives of four students and injured others, making it the largest K-12 campus shooting ever in the US as of May 2018.
Ethan Crumbley’s mother, Jennifer, texted her son “Don’t do that, Ethan” after she heard a report about a school shooter. It was this message that showed that the mother was more or less aware of her son’s plan to carry out the shooting.
So, what does the school shooting in Michigan teach us? Here is ONE key takeaway of the Michigan school shooting!
The day before the Michigan school shooting
On Monday – the day before the shooting, a teacher caught Ethan looking at pictures of ammunition on his phone, which appears immediately led to a meeting with other teachers. During this meeting, Ethan claimed that he and his mother had recently been to a shooting range and that shooting sports were a family hobby.
The school attempted to contact Ethan’s mother but received no response until the next day when the boy’s parents confirmed their child’s story. At that time, Ethan’s mother still didn’t seem to panic.
After school officials contacted Jennifer Crumbley about her son searching for ammunition online, she texted him: “LOL I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught,” according to prosecutors.
The next day, that gun took the lives of 4 students, injured some other students and teachers, and left a psychological scar for all other students in the school because of a deadly day.
Ethan Crumbley. Photo source: Oakland County, Michigan
What are the causes of this tragedy – Ethan Crumbley school shooting?
The gun Ethan uses was an early Christmas present from his parents: a semi-automatic 9mm Sig Sauer pistol. Ethan called the gun “My new beauty”.
Three days before the shooting, Ethan and his father bought it together at a gun store in Michigan. Ethan and his mother spent a day examining the gun, which was then stored in the drawer but unlocked in his parents’ bedroom.
Such a complicated incident stems from many reasons: Ethan personally, parents, education, law, etc. but within the framework of the article, CyberPurify believes that one of the main reasons leading to the unfortunate incident is Ethan – accessing inappropriate content too soon.
Source: New York Times
Key takeaway of Michigan school shooting – Children/adolescents are susceptible to external influences
The brain of a child/adolescent is different from the brain of a child or an adult. The part of the brain responsible for the ability to think logically, self-aware, explain and analyze situations develops much slower than the emotional part, so children are more susceptible to the influence of external factors as the desire to be accepted by friends, to be distinguished, to be respected, and from there, to easily engage in dangerous behaviors.
Since the brain is very adaptive during adolescence and can even change until the child is 25–30 years old, this can be considered a “sensitive” period if exposed to content. use violence, the brain has more negative changes. Evidence is that 75% of mental illnesses occur in the 20s.
The impact of violent content types (gore, stabbing, murder, weapons, etc.) on children’s brains and behavior is increasingly serious because today’s children are highly dependent on Internet-connected devices.
Due to the growth of the Internet and billions of content being updated online every day, your child has a very high chance of being exposed to violent content.
Protect your kids NOW from age-inappropriate content
Over the past six decades, hundreds of studies have been conducted on the effects of violent content types (gore, stabbing, murder, weapons, etc.).
In addition to the main effects on the brain, a follow-up report in 1982 by the National Institute of Mental Health identified the main harmful effects of watching violent content:
- Children can become less sympathetic to the pain and suffering of others.
- Children may be more frightened of the world around them.
- Children can easily behave in ways that are aggressive or harmful to others.
Empirical studies have shown that exposure to violence in the media causes children or adolescents to engage in more aggressive behavior soon after. Exposure to violent content as a child is associated with an increased likelihood of aggressive and violent behavior in adulthood. That means its effects are very long-lasting.
So what should parents do to better protect their children from this harmful content?
Actively use online content filtering tools
To ensure your child’s online environment is safe and healthier, many parents have used an additional online content filtering tool – considered by many parents as one of the best free parental control software to hide 15 types of harmful content on the Internet, including:
- Violence content like gore, accidents, ghosts, violence, murder, terrorism, etc
- Content about stimulants, addictive substances such as alcohol, beer, marijuana, drugs, etc., slashed weapons.
- Content with aggressive elements, hurting others like Hate speech
This free porn blocker extension can help to minimize your child’s access to harmful content, ensuring a healthy online environment for your child but at the same time, not invading their privacy rights.
Continually educate your children about the dangers of the Internet
Talking is considered one of the best ways for children to be self-aware and proactively away from dangers on the Internet. This is about both a foundation and a catalyst for building meaningful and close relationships between parents and children.
So you need to have an honest conversation with your child about the risks on the Internet that they may face, such as:
- Online sexual predators
- Inappropriate content such as sexually explicit, adult images/videos.
- Content that haunts and scares children like gore, accidents, murder, etc.
- Online scams
- Risky behaviors such as sexting, online bullying, sharing too much on social networks, etc.
Don’t forget to listen to your children
Don’t forget to create a friendly and open conversation environment where your child can share anything with you without fear of being scolded or judged, such as when a friend sends a link containing violent content weapons that make them uncomfortable.
You should help your child think through his or her situation by asking questions like:
- What do you think of these contents?
- How do you think all this happened?
- Have any of your friends sent you this content yet?
- Where did you see these?
Don’t take anything your child shares with you lightly, especially when he or she expresses fear, insecurity, or anxiety. Parents need to listen to their children seriously and talk to them openly about the problems they are having.
Don’t shy away from it, but acknowledge the changes your child may be going through and encourage your child to ask questions and express his or her feelings to you.
Keep an eye out for unusual psychological signs
You should be on the lookout for signs of upset, fear, or discomfort in children as these may be related to unusual and dangerous behavior, and make sure to stay in touch with your child’s teacher to contact the teacher promptly.
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