Heroism during STEM School shooting praised, but some worry coverage will push kids to put themselves in harm’s way
Most school districts teach fighting back as an option, but only when it’s not possible to get away
The Denver Post
When two teenagers began firing on their classmates at STEM School Highlands Ranch last week, at least three students charged one of the suspects — a decision that cost one of the teens his life.
Kendrick Castillo’s death was the second within a week involving a student who tackled a perpetrator of a school shooting. Eight days earlier, Riley Howell was killed charging the gunman in a shooting at UNC Charlotte in North Carolina.
The actions by these students who took down shooters are heralded as heroic and credited for preventing further deaths. But their stories also have drawn concern from psychologists who worry that such narratives will place children and teens at further risk by sending the message they must act like a “superman or (super)woman” during mass shootings.
“We don’t want any kid, certainly some of the younger kids, thinking this is what they have to do,” said Dr. Steven Berkowitz, a visiting professor in psychiatry at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus.