Rutgers University experts are available to comment on the continuing implications of the Columbine shootings, which occurred 20 years ago.
- Bernadette Hohl is co-director of New Jersey’s Center on Gun Violence Research and an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Rutgers School of Public Health.
“We need to move upstream to address the causes, not just dealing with the consequences of school violence, and to think more holistically about creating safe environments for kids to live, learn and play,” she said.
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- Maureen Brogan is statewide coordinator of Traumatic Loss Coalitions for Youth at Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, which provides trauma response assistance to schools following crisis.
“Twenty years later, there are still invisible scars and challenges facing survivors and the community of Columbine,” she said. “Trauma experts know that the body keeps score. When a person has experienced trauma, it’s just not a matter of ‘getting over it.’ Anniversaries can trigger a trauma response, even 20 years later.”
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- Matthew Mayer, an associate professor at the Graduate School of Education, studies and writes about bullying, school violence and ways to prevent it. Mayer and 19 other professors last year authored the “Call for Action to Prevent Gun Violence in the United States.” Mayer has reported on the limitations of using armed guards as a school violence prevention strategy.
"There’s no evidence that more guns are a reliable form of prevention,” he said. “That leads local leaders to say ‘Look, we’ve dealt with this,’ and not do the hard stuff that actually works. Physical and personnel-based security measures should only be part of the recipe to prevent school violence.”
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