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Clinical Psychologist: School Violence Growing Across Nation

Reported by: Send eMail Taisha Walker
Videographer: Troy Morgan
Reported: Jun. 26, 2014 8:33 PM EDT
Updated: Jun. 26, 2014 11:20 PM EDT

School Violence Trend
Eyewitness News Photo

Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia

One Charleston clinical psychologist claims school threats are becoming more frequent, although there's no solid research to support what appears to be a national trend.

"When we were kids we used to worry about the atomic bomb and we used to duck under our desks as a drill, now the children in kindergarten are practicing drills in case somebody comes and takes over their school," Dr. David Clayman said.

The clinical and forensic psychologist said there's no national study currently out there to explain why school shootings and bombings are becoming more prevalent across the country. He said the fact that we are all hearing more news stories about these incidents indicates a trend may be forming.

Lincoln County high school educator Mike McCormick agreed.

"Starting with the shooting of one or two kids, and then the next person who you see in the news or whatever, its been three, four, five," Mccormick, a digital media teacher, said. "It does seem to escalate higher and higher."

Clayman said Americans are becoming highly frustrated with all the violence happening within school walls. But he said state and federal governments need to do more than put a temporary bandage on the problem.

"When we all ask for things we get locks, we get television cameras and we get nothing as far as prevention because people want a simplistic answer," Clayman said. "This is not merely gun control, this is not merely mental health, it's a sickness of society that makes people who are angry or frustrated want to act out and now we are giving them a means to do so."

Clayman said the unhappiness some teens may have with society and social media's influence might help explain why we're seeing more violence in schools. He said social media is allowing people to witness the violence, identify with it and then act it out.

"Social media now allows people to feel connected to others that feel equally as alienated and angry and now shows people how to act out," Clayman said.

Clayman said increasing mental health services and decreasing access to guns is not necessarily the answer rather, understanding the root of the frustration, anger and alienation some teens now feel.

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