Shootings in schools attract enormous attention in the world press and frequently give the illusion that such events are common in schools. Despite the rarity of such events, they are traumatic to children, to educators and to the community in which they occur. People assume a school is a safe area and children are protected in them against the evils of society. Last September, Matti Juhani Saari, a Finnish boy, entered a vocational high school and killed nine students and a teacher as well as himself. The Kauhajoki Project has been established to work with teachers, students and the community as emotional feelings continue to impact individuals. The project emphasizes, as part of a three year effort to assist the community a focus on students and the families of dead children. A budget of one million Euros has been allocated to provide trained professionals to work with those in need of emotional support.
This is an intelligent approach. It is all too often for communities to go through shock and pain and then attempt to put the event away. We lack these approaches to systematic study of what happens in a community in the aftermath of a school shooting.