69
      Friday
      90 / 67
      Saturday
      90 / 68
      Sunday
      93 / 67

      Young minds are not equipped to make rational decisions

      The shooting at Berrendo Middle School has left an 11-year-old boy and a 13 year-old-girl injured.

      The attacker was a 7th grader who opened fire in the gym.

      This incident comes just a month after a shooting at Arapahoe High School in Colorado.

      Attackers in both incidents were teenagers.

      A study conducted by the Secret Service looked at cases of 41 children involved in 37 shootings from 1973 to 2000.

      The findings indicated that these shooters did not simply "snap."

      In 75 percent of the cases, the attackers told someone about their plans. A few were diagnosed with a mental illness but more than half were extremely depressed. The study also indicated 75 percent of the adolescents experienced difficulty coping with an emotional event.

      Whitney Chapman, a sophomore counselor at Caprock High School said students who experience problems often lack communication.

      "Students get so isolated from other students or they get so isolated from their parents because [the parents] are working 2 or 3 jobs," Chapman said.

      "They never communicate, except through social network and they lose perception of what's real."

      Problems arise when students run into conflicts and have no one to talk to.

      Tim Bowles, department administrator of psychiatry at the Texas Tech University Health Science Center, said adolescents react differently than an adult.

      "Even kids from 12 to 13-years-old, even all the way up to 25 years old, your brain is not fully developed yet," Bowles said.

      "[Adolescents are] not going to be able to respond correctly in certain situations where you feel intense pressure of stress."

      Both counselors and psychiatrists agree that keeping a line of communication open is crucial in an adolescent's life.

      "You don't want the kids to take matters into their own hands because the kids aren't emotional ready to respond in an appropriate way. so they may take it too far," Bowles said.