The recent school shooting incident that occurred in Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California last November 14, 2019, has once again sowed terror and fear in the hearts of students, parents, teachers and school administrators alike.
Despite previous studies that aim to strengthen school security measures and early detection of potential perpetrators, questions on how and why such incidents happen remain unanswered.
Where schools already implement varying methods, as well as impose rules and regulations governing student conduct, it became apparent that anti-bullying programs, student counselling of troubled-students and closer mediation, are not complete solutions that can prevent school shooting incidents.
Whereas before, bullying was pinpointed as the foremost reason on why young victims harbored hostility that drove them to counter with violent reactions. The Saugus High School shooting incident made it apparent that more research is needed to determine not just a single factor but all factors that combine and lead to school violence.
Saugus High School Shooter Baffles Friends, Teachers and Police Authorities
District Supervisors and school administrators are tasked to utilize as many resources as possible, including increasing security guards, using metal detectors, CCTVs and performing student-profiling.
Yet after 16-year old Nathaniel Tennosuke Berhow, a student of Saugus High School took a gun to school to commit one of the most dreaded acts of aggression, including suicide, school administrators are once again in a quandary. The incident is said to be the 30th crime that transpired within a school premise, this year.
Friends and neighbors knew the shooter from childhood as a smart and non-violent kid, albeit of the introvert type. There was hardly any indication that the young man had the potential to turn hostile and violent.
Authorities are baffled about young Berhow’s motive since he never figured as a victim of bullying, nor manifested support for violent ideologies. He lived in a modest home with his mother, while his father died two years earlier.
However, investigators found a number of unregistered guns in the Berhow household, in addition to the licensed firearms owned by the young man’s deceased father. The shooter’s father who was described as an avid hunter, was said to have a history of chronic alcoholism and had been jailed before for domestic abuse.
Not even young Berhow’s girlfriend had an inkling that the boy was harboring thoughts of comitting a crime and later suicide right, on the day of his 16th birthday. Up to this date, the young man’s motive was still unclear.
Saugus High School administrators temporarily suspended classes up to December 02, but took to addressing the trauma experienced by their students. They invited school-shooting expert, Dr. David Schonfeld of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement, to help students, parents and teachers cope with tragic incident upon resumption of classes.