Schools in Literary Bullying: We Need to Talk About Kevin

Schools in Literary Bullying: We Need to Talk About Kevin

Jun 19, 2018, 11:36:25 PM Opinion

Here's where I go 180 degrees in the other direction in this series of posts about how schools handled or mishandled bullying in books about school shootings. The last two books I covered, "Endgame" and "Rupture" were both damning accounts of how the school did nothing to curb the bullying and consequently led to a mass shooting. In the book, "We Need to Talk About Kevin" by Lionel Shriver, there is little evidence that the school could have done anything to prevent the events that led up to Kevin killing seven pupils and a teacher and wounding two more.

The main issue in this case is the fact that Kevin wasn't bullied. If anything, he might have been perceived as the bully. In his mother's account of Kevin's life, she states that the other students at school gave Kevin a wide berth. Furthermore, he did nothing to make himself stand out or draw any attention towards himself whatsoever. As far as the school is concerned, Kevin Katchadourian was just another student.

Some circumstantial evidence that arises in the story could be introduced. For one, there's the false accusation by Kevin and his friend against a female teacher whom Kevin claimed made inappropriate advances towards him. The teacher ended up being placed on administrative duties. However, that didn't ring any alarm bells with the school in the story and I doubt it would have done so in real life. Kevin wouldn't have been profiled or have been seen as a potential troublemaker.

One way the school could have prevented the shooting was if they knew about the fake awards ceremony Kevin masterminded. All of his targets, none of them had any issue with Kevin, were assembled into a school gymnasium to rehearse for this awards ceremony. The recipients of these 'awards' including the teacher, were told that under no circumstances, were they to reveal the awards in case it made others jealous. Still, it's still a little surprising that no one leaked it out or even the teacher discuss it with the principal in private. Instead, they all fell into Kevin's trap.

[caption id="attachment_842" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The shooting scene from "We Need to Talk About Kevin." There's not much more to it.[/caption]

As a result, Kevin's school, while possibly might feel they looked a little stupid by being fooled by Kevin's plan, could not have done anything to prevent bullying because Kevin wasn't.

To buy He Was Weird, go to:




Published by Michael Lefevre

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