Our Voice: Latest school death drowned out in news

Farm Forum

Quick: Where did last week’s school slaying occur?

Danvers, Mass. A 14-year-old boy is charged with stabbing a teacher to death in a school bathroom and dumping her body in the nearby woods.

Don’t feel bad if you missed it. A lot of people did.

It’s sad that school killings are happening so frequently that the stories no longer make front page news. Or, in the case of television or the Internet, breaking news.

Or, those breaking stories no longer make an impact to a world more and more desensitized to violence.

It wasn’t all that long ago words such as “Columbine” and “Sandy Hook” became universal shorthand for tragedy.

But now, similar events are just another story, updated with the best of intentions for a couple of days then dropped.

What would motivate someone to walk into a school and intentionally kill other people? Psychologists across the world posit all sorts of logical and illogical theories. But the reasons die with the killer. If the motivation was to hit the front page of the paper and achieve posthumous notoriety, well, that option is off the plate.

It’s not that we don’t care for our fellow human beings. It’s not that we don’t hurt for those going through such horrible pain as finding the body of a beloved teacher tossed like so much litter in the woods. We do. But Americans are suffering from empathy fatigue. And unless the death count is in the double-digits, well, other news takes center stage.

Sadly, we can more easily stomach the idea of a looming debt ceiling than the loss of a talented 24-year-old woman.

— American News editorial board