6-Year-Old Shooter is a Red Flag That School Mental Health Programs Have Failed

With gratuitous and murderous violence being committed by the very young, CCHR says violence prevention and school mental health programs have failed. Providing “mental health” screening and treatment may be putting teachers and students in harm’s way.

With gratuitous and murderous violence being committed by the very young, CCHR says violence prevention and school mental health programs have failed.

LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, January 17, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — The shocking news that a 6-year-old recently shot and injured a first-grade teacher at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia is resonating across the nation.[1] This and the general rise in gratuitous and murderous violence committed by the very young has prompted the Citizens Commission on Human Rights International to reiterate that governments need to review the failure of infusing and massively funding school mental health programs.

CCHR wants state and federal governments to investigate the potential role of these programs and child psychotropic drug use in creating or exacerbating a violent mindset and culture in schools.

States, among them Virginia, mandate schools to provide students with character development and social and emotional learning. Whether the 6-year-old boy had undergone this is unknown, but the altercation with his teacher resulted in him choosing to use a gun. A 10-year-old boy fatally shot his mother when she wouldn’t let him buy a virtual reality headset.[2] He had been undergoing mental health therapy for more than a year.[3] A 10-year-old girl grabbed a gun from her mother’s backpack and shot and killed a neighbor arguing with the mother. After killing the woman, the girl yelled, “you shouldn’t have messed with my mother.”[4]

Newport News Mayor Phillip D. Jones stated in response to the Richneck Elementary School tragedy, “It is almost impossible to wrap our minds” around this.[5] He added, “I do think that after this event, there is going to be a nationwide discussion on how these sorts of things can be prevented.”[6]

Jan Eastgate, president of CCHR International, says: “However, we will never ‘wrap our wits’ around such tragedies or prevent them without an honest review of failed mental health ‘solutions’ used to treat the problem of child and youth violence.

“There can be numerous reasons for senseless violence. Some child killers have terrible, abusive family backgrounds. However, psychotropic drugs and ‘mental health treatment’ in schools and in foster care and juvenile centers clearly aren’t improving or preventing child crime. They are likely a pivotal point in helping to create or exacerbate the mindset behind the commission of such crimes.

“In a percent of those taking them, psychiatric drugs cause violence. Studies document this.”

There are more than 25 international drug regulatory agency warnings citing psychiatric drugs causing mania, psychosis, aggression, violent reactions, and even homicidal ideation, as addressed in CCHR’s report Psychiatric Drugs Create Violence & Suicide

Since the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, violence prevention programs in schools have been heavily funded.[7] They usually include mental health screening and “awareness” programs, and access to school mental health clinics. However, psychological and psychiatric programs arguably have only made matters worse.

CCHR warned against this path in 1999 when it testified before a Colorado government Ad Hoc Committee Hearing into psychiatric drugs creating violence in schools. CCHR exposed how antidepressants and psychological “death education” programs in the school had contributed to two teens killing 12 students and a teacher at Columbine High School, before killing themselves. Both shooters had been in anger-management classes and had undergone counseling. The ringleader had been seeing a psychiatrist before the shooting. He was taking an antidepressant documented to cause violent and suicidal effects.

The Colorado State Board of Education passed a precedent-setting resolution that called on teachers to use academics rather than drug solutions for behavior, attention, and learning difficulties in the classroom.[8]

Yet taxpayer appropriations have been funneled into everything but this. There’s been no investigation into the link between psychotropic drugs and acts of violence.

States ignore this information at their own peril. Since 2000, there have been at least 27 acts of mass violence in schools committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs or having undergone unnamed mental health treatment, resulting in 33 deaths and 83 wounded. At least seven of the killings involved stabbings.[9] Something drove them to kill.

Despite all its investments in mental health and “character and emotional building” in schools, Virginia has seen some of the worst examples of school violence. In 2007, a 23-year-old man carried out a massacre at Virginia Tech University’s campus, killing 32 students and instructors in two separate attacks before killing himself.[10] He had previously been admitted to a psychiatric ward for suicidal tendencies.[11]

The mindset of young children, as exemplified in the recent shootings, is chillingly irresponsible. While it begs questions about a child’s home life, it also raises an alarm about what “mental health” programs teachers are being mandated to teach in schools that could be causing harm they are unaware of.
The call for governments to investigate the failure of psychiatric screening, mental health programs and treatment is even more vital in light of the recent shocking, senseless examples of child killers.

Read full article here.

[1] Amanda Musa, et al., “6-year-old in custody after shooting teacher in Virginia, police chief says,” CNN, 7 Jan. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/06/us/newport-news-virginia-shooting/index.html

[2] “10-year-old Wisconsin boy charged as adult in fatal shooting of mother over Amazon order of VR headset,” NBC News, 1 Dec. 2022, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/10-year-old-wisconsin-boy-charged-adult-fatal-shooting-mother-amazon-o-rcna59605

[3] Shannon Dawson, “Family Of 10-Year-Old Milwaukee Boy Charged With Fatally Shooting His Mother Reveals More Details About The Startling Case,” Madamnoire.com, 30 Dec. 2022,

[4] Cheyenne R. Ubiera, “MEMORIAL DAY ‘MURDER’: Girl, 10, charged with MURDER for ‘killing woman who was fighting with her mom’ and screaming a chilling message,” The U.S. Sun, 7 Jun. 2022, https://www.the-sun.com/news/5512864/girl-charged-murder-shooting-orlando-florida/

[5] Op. cit., CNN, 7 Jan. 2023

[6] Maya Yang, “Shooting of teacher by six-year-old a red flag for US, says mayor,” The Guardian, 8 Jan. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jan/08/shooting-of-teacher-by-six-year-old-a-red-flag-for-us-says-mayor-virginia

[7] https://www.cchrint.org/2022/07/11/billions-spent-on-violence-prevention-ignores-how-psychotropic-drugs-cause-hostility/

[8] “Resolution: Promoting the Use of Academic Solutions to Resolve Problems with Behavior, Attention, and Learning,” Colorado State Board of Education, 11 Nov. 1999

[9] https://www.cchrint.org/2022/07/11/billions-spent-on-violence-prevention-ignores-how-psychotropic-drugs-cause-hostility/

[10] Mark Abadi, et at., “The 30 deadliest mass shootings in US history include Buffalo and Uvalde,” Yahoo! News, 26 May 2022, https://news.yahoo.com/30-deadliest-mass-shootings-us-184057639.html

[11] “Mental Health Records of Va. Tech Shooter Found In Ex-Director’s Home,” New York Post, 22 July 2009, https://nypost.com/2009/07/22/mental-health-records-of-va-tech-shooter-found-in-ex-directors-home/; Emily Friedman, “Va. Tech Shooter Seung-Hui Cho’s Mental Health Records Released,” ABC News, 19 Aug. 2009, https://abcnews.go.com/us/seung-hui-chos-mental-health-records-released/story?id=8278195

Amber Rauscher
Citizens Commission on Human Rights
+1 323-467-4242
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