In the days following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, the nation wanted a reason behind the senseless murdering of 20 elementary school students and six adults. Now there are reports that shooter Adam Lanza was bullied while attending the school, suggesting that may have been the seed that grew into his sinister plan.
When he opened fire Dec. 14 in Newtown, Conn., Lanza may have been exacting revenge. A new claim by family members says Adam Lanza’s mother, Nancy, considered suing the school because teachers there apparently turned a blind eye to the bullying Adam Lanza reportedly endured.
A relative of the gunman has claimed Nancy Lanza, who was killed by her son before the school massacre, struggled with people bullying her son and went as far as going to the school trying to catch bullies in the act. Nancy Lanza also reportedly was concerned over bruises her son may have acquired at school.
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“Adam would come home with bruises all over his body,” the relative told the New York Daily News
. “His mom would ask him what was wrong, and he wouldn’t say anything. He would just sit there. She was trying to get proof. She wanted to know where the bruises were coming from.”
In the days and weeks following the shootings, reports that Adam Lanza suffered from autism streamed in. Experts say people living with autism spectrum disorders aren’t generally violent, but are often bullied in school. Claims by former classmates that Lanza was a frequent subject of ridicule have also surfaced.
According to a recent survey, sixth through 10th grade is when most kids are likely to be bullied. The survey said about 30 percent of students in the United States are involved in bullying on a regular basis either as a victim, bully or both.
And a new study published by in JAMA Psychiatry says victims of bullying are at risk for psychiatric problems in childhood. The study said the effects of being bullied are “direct” and “long-lasting.”
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If bullying was to blame, Adam Lanza wouldn’t be the only victim who resorted to violence later. In early January, a 16-year-old student at Taft Union High School, in Taft, Calif., fired shots at students in his science class. The target of his attacks was reportedly a classmate the shooter said had been bullying him.
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