Yesterday morning, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and learned of a horrible tragedy that struck a high school near Pittsburgh. Around 7am at Franklin Regional High School, a student took two knives and begun stabbing his fellow classmates. This attack left 22 people injured, five of them critical. One student’s liver was pierced and another got slashed in the face, a wound requiring 11 stitches, while trying to prevent the attacker from stabbing a fellow student. Another student is being hailed as a hero in the media–after he was stabbed, he pulled the fire alarm to try to get as many people out of harms way as possible. The assistant principle tackled the attacker in order to prevent him from harming any more students.
The 16-year-old suspect was charged with four counts of attempted homicide and 21 counts of aggravated assault and will be tried as an adult. He is currently jailed without bail. Students said that during the attack, the boy had a blank expression on his face. Not anger, not sadness, just blank. They said that he was a quiet boy but they had no reason to believe he would ever be violent, students say they never saw anyone be mean to him. In these situations, we are always left wondering why someone would commit such a senseless act against his fellow students.
Immediately after this senseless crime was committed, students took to Twitter to express their feelings. A hashtag, #PrayforFR, immediately began trending. Students are mostly shocked, saying that they can’t believe something like this would happen at their school. Others are sharing words of encouragement for those who have been wounded. Some are telling the stories of their fellow classmates who behaved as heroes, staying behind to help others or defending fellow classmates. Read some students tweets here. The use of social media in these situations is prevalent. Students feel less alone when they can share their thoughts and feelings with others in their situations. Plus, news spreads much faster and the immediacy of the tweets outlining yesterdays events probably kept several students away from the danger.