Last month I wrote an article, based on my experiences handling certain juvenile cases, regarding the use of social media and kids joking about school shootings; the thesis: help your kids realize that such jokes are inappropriate and can lead to intervention by law enforcement.
When I was invited to speak on the subject before some professionals in the legal industry, an interesting conversation was sparked that revealed important unanswered questions. For instance, why are kids drawn to making such jokes, as evidenced by the popularly used hashtag #dontcometoschooltomorrow? Is it their way of coping with their fears and the reality that even school children are not safe from gun violence? Or, is it a brand of ironic humor that is part of today’s adolescent culture?
These are tough questions that will require mental health and other professionals to study this trend, and hopefully, provide some solutions or guidance in addressing them.