Education

Putting Out a Hit

March 22, 2007 1 min read

The news stories pop up with a regularity that triggers yawns instead of gasps: A student’s “hit list” has been found in a locker, notebook, or online. It contains the names of classmates and categorizes them according to the harm the writer wants to inflict upon them—ranging from “kill” to “knock out cold.” As hit lists become almost commonplace, school officials and experts are debating both what the lists mean and how best to respond.

“It’s like a fad ... It becomes something that’s popular to do,” says a university professor who’s studied kids who kill their peers. Some students argue that the lists are simply a way to release anger and stress. But others, like Ronald Stephens of the National School Safety Center, say hit lists—especially the online variety—can portend real danger. “Challenges or threats that are communicated in written form have a tendency to escalate,” Stephens says.

Paradoxically, while hit lists have become more common, school violence has actually declined since the early 1990s. But those statistics don’t comfort school officials when they’re faced with a hit list at their school.

What do you think? Are hit lists a “blueprint for deadly action,” or essentially harmless?

A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Project Manager
United States
K12 Inc.
High School Permanent Substitute Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District
MS STEM Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District
Speech Therapist - Long Term Sub
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District

Read Next

Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read