Friday, October 11, 2013

Blog #5: Finland - Student Stabs 4 at School

On Thursday October 10th, a 16-year old student stabbed three fellow students and a janitor at a school in northern Finland. Luckily, all four victims are in stable conditions. According to the article, this student had previously threatened the school online in February "'saying that he would 'kill the whole school' if he had a gun'". The 16-year old was arrested by the police department in Oulu and he "admitted to the stabbings but did not disclose a motive".

This article does not do much in informing the reader of what exactly happened on Thursday at this vocational school in Finland. All the article states is the age of the offender, number of victims and the method used. However, this article fails to give any further information causing the reader to ask numerous questions. The first question one can ask is if the police were aware of the online threats to shoot down the school that the perpetrator made in February. If they were aware of this, one would then have to ask if any action was taken to investigate whether or not this student meant what he said. The article states that the Deputy Police Chief Arto Karnaranta said that "the suspect had made online threats against the school in February". A conclusion can be drawn from this statement that the police were aware that a online threat had been made. If it is true, then that means that the police knew about the online threats but did nothing to investigate whether or not these threats could possibly be carried out. One can say that if the police had taken the threat seriously and investigated, then it is possible that the stabbing that occurred on Thursday may have been something that could have been prevented. This is because if the police had taken the threat in a grave manner and thoroughly investigated, they may have found that this 16-year old was indeed serious and actions would have been taken against the student to keep him from harming others and/or himself. If this had happened, the stabbing of the four victims would not have occurred. Or perhaps an investigation occurred but the police did not think that the student's threats were serious and so, actions were taken against the student. Yet it is more likely that the police did not thoroughly investigate the threat because if they had they would have most likely realized the gravity of the student's threat against the school since one can see from the stabbings on Thursday, the student is obviously not in a healthy state of mind.

Another question that the article does not answer is about the motive of the offender. The article states that the offender did not state his motive and yet one cannot help but wonder what made this 16-year old boy not only threaten to shoot the school but also stab 4 people. The idea of socialization can be used as an attempt to figuring out the motive or motives behind the perpetrator's actions. Using the idea of socialization, one can create a theory that maybe the offender was being bullied and harassed by other students at school. This then severed his ties to school, a societal institution. Due to the treatment he received by the other students it is quite likely that the offender had a hard time making friends and being an active member of society. The lack of societal ties that the offender had may have something to do with why this 16-year old decided to take a knife to school and three students and a janitor.

There are many reasons to why people do what they do. However it seems that the reason behind actions is influenced by two things: self and society. Yes it is true that the person is who decides on the actions that he or she makes, but it is important to realize that society also has a huge impact. The environment and the people that one socializes plays a part in the creation of a person's beliefs and norms. Therefore, negative socialization is most likely to lead to negative consequences with is what seems to have happened in this tragic event.

Catherine Choi

No comments: