Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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Search results for "school shootings" ...

  • Aggression Detectors: The Unproven, Invasive Surveillance Technology Schools Are Using to Monitor Students

    In response to mass shootings, some schools and hospitals have been installing devices equipped with machine learning algorithms that purport to identify stressed and angry voices before violence erupts. Our analysis found this technology unreliable. Our goal was to reverse-engineer the algorithm, so we could see for ourselves if it actually worked as the company advertised. (One salesperson suggested to us that the device could prevent the next school shooting.) We purchased the device and rewired its programming so we could feed it any sound clip of our choosing. We then played gigabytes of sound files for the algorithm and measured its prediction for each. After this preliminary testing, we ran several real-world experiments to test where the algorithm could be flawed. We recorded the voices of high school students in real-world situations, collected the algorithm's predictions and analyzed them.
  • How Teens Get Guns

    A San Jose Mercury News special report finds that "a review of California school shootings in the past decade reveals that most gunmen found their weapons close to home." The analysis showed that family and friends were the main source of firearms.
  • Columbine

    60 Minutes II returns to "the site of the worst school shooting in U.S. history, Columbine High" and shows "how police and school officials bungled opportunities both to stop the massacre before it happened, and to save more people once it began."
  • Columbine Series: Lights, Camera...No Comment; Chronology of a Big Fat Lie, The Do-Nothing Defense; Unhappy Returns; Back to School; More Whoppers From Jeffco; I'm Full of Hate and I Love It; Shocking the Conscience

    Prendergast reports on the "aftermath of the Columbine school shootings, particularly the missteps by law enforcement officials." The series features the "first publication of pages from gunman's Eric Harris' diary, which police investigators have kept hidden for two years, showing that Harris had composed a detailed plan of the attack...." County officials not only concealed and destroyed investigative records, but also fabricated false statements in order to cover up the prior warnings that police had on the shooting plot, Westword reports. Some of the documents that contradicted the first official version have been exposed through the process of public records litigation.
  • Voices From The Cell

    Time interviews twelve of the school shooters currently serving time behind bars. Some of them can expect to grow old and die in jail, some will be released between the ages of 50 and 70, and a handful who were sentenced as juveniles will be out by the time they're twenty one. After couple years in prison, each of these boys is facing the reality of their crimes.
  • The Kid Who Killed

    The New Times reports on 13-year-old Nate Brazill, a bright but angry kid, desperate for attention, who shot a beloved teacher after being suspended on the last day of school. According to the article, Nate was more complex than media reports have made him out to be -- not an A-B student, but an A-B-C-D-F student. He liked chess, the internet and band. But for some reason, angry about getting suspended for throwing a water balloon, Nate returned to school with murder on his mind.
  • When the Shooting Stops

    "A year after the Columbine school massacre, Americans still wonder how and why such tragedies occur. Seeking answers, The Times examines the lives of the Rouses, whose son committed one of the first school shootings- a 1995 attack in Lynnville, Tennessee." The article details how the Rouses dealt with their son's actions- the questions they asked themselves, the ridicule they feared, and the life-long effects on their family. In addition, reporter Richard Meyer provides strong insight into Jamie Rouses feelings at the time of the shooting and Rouses thoughts on his actions now as he sits in prison with two consecutive life sentences.
  • Deadly Lessons: School Shooters Tell Why

    In a two-part series, the Chicago Sun-Times reports on the results of the Secret Service analysis of 37 school shootings, "the findings of the study deserve the attention of every adult. . . In their own words, the boys who have killed in America's schools offer a simple suggestion to prevent it from happening again: Listen to us." The study suggest that there are no stereotypes of a child who kills. They come from a variety of backgrounds, ethnicities, incomes and family lives. Rather, the child sees this as the only option and many of the attacks were planned in advance. In addition, many of the shooters easily obtained guns and often told someone of their planned attack. "The answer, researchers believe, lies more in listening to children, dealing fairly with grievances such as bullying, improving the climate of communication in schools, keeping guns away from children, and investigating promptly and thoroughly when a student raises a concern." Bill Dedman reports more on these issues.
  • The Killer at Thurston High

    "In May 1998, a year before the massacre at Columbine High, 15-year-old Kip Kinkel murdered his mother and father, and then opened fire at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon, killing two fellow students and wounding 25 others. In this first in-depth television examination of a school shooter, FRONTLINE reveals the intimate inside story of how the 'shy6 and likeable' Kip Kinkel from a solid middle-class family became the boy police call 'a cold-hearted killer.'"
  • Rampage Killers

    New York Times study of the 102 killers in 100 rampage attacks in the last 50 years (including the 1999 Columbine School shootings in Littleton, Colo.) revealed that "at least half of the killers showed signs of serious mental health problems" prior to their murder sprees. The four-part series starts by painting a "statistical portrait" of rampage killers -- the investigation found that most are white males with higher education levels than typical murders. The second installment of the series reveals that these murders do not simply snap. In fact, the investigation found that in most cases, family and friends ignored these killers' warning signs. The third installment looks at how easy it is for individuals with a history of mental health problems to obtain firearms legally. The four installment tells the story of a rampage killer who has been corresponding with the father of one of his victims from prison.