This ground breaking book reveals connections between School Shooters and Prenatal Exposure to Alcohol.
Columbine. Jonesboro. Red Lake. As the number of school shootings continues at an unacceptable rate, including seven in 2008. This new book is shedding valuable insight on the shocking fact of what’s behind these killings, and how to end an epidemic of violence.
Educator Jody Allen Crowe’s “The Fatal Link,” published by Outskirts Press (www.outskirtspress.com) examines a sample of shooters’ backgrounds to arrive at an alarming connection: most, if not all, suffered from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), resulting in brain damage as well as physical defects. Undertaking a study of seven Minnesota and Wisconsin school shooters, and extrapolating data from 69 school shooters using sophisticated mathematical modeling, Crowe determines that more than 80 percent of school shooters across the nation fit the profile of being affected by prenatal exposure to alcohol.
Crowe makes a persuasive argument that the prenatal alcohol-induced brain damage predisposes adolescents for aberrant behavior down the line, including violence. “The destruction to the fetus’ neurological system is more dangerous than crack, meth or cocaine to the baby,” Peter Johnson of the advocacy group Healthy Brains for Children writes in a foreword. “The resulting damage has led to behavioral disorders ranging from ADHD to autism to gang activity to high school shooting massacres.”
But “The Fatal Link” is also an intensely personal chronicle of Crowe’s journey to understand the root causes of violence in our schools. As an elementary student in 1966, his hometown high school was the site of the nation’s first adolescent school shooting, a memory that continued to haunt him throughout his life. Later, as a veteran of troubled schools on Native American reservations across the country, he saw first-hand the devastating effects of FASD, and became fixated on understanding why. The result is at once a feelingly told account as well as a thoroughly researched call to arms.
The message is clear: Crowe urges key stakeholders to raise awareness about the danger of FASD, which is, amazingly, still not taken seriously in many communities. Alcohol companies, parents, doctors and public health officials must be held responsible, Crowe writes, to avoid further tragedies that-perhaps most tragically of all, are completely preventable.