Social isolation was under-researched in a number of ways prior to the occurrence of the Columbine massacre on April 20, 1999. The perpetrators who were involved were young teenage students who had been described as loners and "socially inhibited." Social isolation appears to have contributed to that watershed event in Columbine, and therefore needs to be addressed. (Cotterell & Cotterell, 2007). The event was orchestrated by said psychopath Eric Harris and accomplice Dylan Klebold. These two students had, when it was finally over, taken the innocent lives of thirteen of their fellow classmates, wounded twenty-four others, and then eventually taken their own lives. The results of the tragedy were suspected to have been linked to the issue of social isolation. The intentions of those two young men were to not only seek revenge, but as a means of a protest of years of being bullied, intimidated, and humiliated by their peers. (Larkin) The prevalence of students who suffer from social isolation, and its potential consequences within our American school system, is an important issue that deserves attention. This paper examines how social isolation may have been a contributing factor to the shooting massacre at Columbine High School. Additionally, it takes a look at the impact the tragedy made in years following on our current security policies, and the since implemented support systems within our schools designed to help alleviate some of the problem.
Many of the students who become socially isolated can fall victim to depression, often accompanied by suicidal ideation and/or violence. Sadly, in the case of the Columbine Massacre, it resulted in all three. Since then, reports have shown there to have been at least fourteen copycat cases in which the attacks were aimed toward commemoration to the Columbine massacre. In these cases, they committed the same crimes, and for many of the same reasons.