At times or when younger in school, a kid encounters a bully who seemed to be in a violently bad mood. They pick on or beat up a poor innocent child for no particular reason but to be a jerk. As questionable as it sounds, bullies are most commonly looked at as “monsters” because of how they behave and interact with others in a negative way. How an individual sees bullies as they are is how they experienced them from frequent run-ins with and their crude actions they give to the innocent victim, which can be easily thought of. Whenever we think of a bully, we think of a troublesome young child who picks on another kid they find weak and inferior to them. But when we look in closer of what the bully is, it can have various characteristics of bullying, such as physical, verbal, social and cyber-bullying.
If that sounds worse than ever, than some of these factors can lead to extreme and dangerous measures if its worsened enough or the bully victim can fight back the hard way. This is a story about a high school boy who shot up dozens of students and his relatives. This is a story about an American native school student, Jeff Weise, who was born on August 8, 1988 from Red Lake, Minnesota, a city known for its poor society for the Native American race. This teenager has “suffered from bullying and depression” because his mother was addicted to alcohol and suffered brain damage in a car accident, and his father shot himself to death a few months before it happened. At age 9, Weise had to leave his mother to live with his grandparents and his other relatives in Red Lake Indian Reservation in Minneapolis, where it’s safer from her alcoholism, but he didn’t like living up there, according to Weise’s closest friend, Sky Grant.
During his middle school years, Jeff Weise had many bad experiences. As much as he wasn’t much of a bully to anyone he didn’t like, he was often teased and bullied by his classmates for his large body shape and wearing all-black outfits. He wouldn’t attended to many different activities based on his culture and didn’t do any assignments in his classes. Instead, he drew disturbing pictures like pictures of “war and people getting shot”. Overtime, he had suicidal thoughts and attempted to kill himself several times because of bullying. Because of that, he was dropped out in 8th grade, leading him to attend “nonacademic” classes, in others work on activities of his own culture.
When he got to Red Lake High School and staying there for the first two years, Weise had to be home-schooled because he couldn’t take any more bullying, suffered more depression. Then on March 21, 2005, Weise grabbed 3 weapons and shot his grandfather and his girlfriend when they were sleeping early in the morning, stole and drove in his grandfather’s police car up to his high school. There, he shot 3 faculties, 5 students, and finally shot himself to death when the security guards try to stop him. Just like the Columbine High School shooting back in April 20, 1999, The Red Lake High School shooting has been reported as the worst and the most dangerous shootings here in America. And when we look deeper into why this have to happen, it’s because the shooter has lived a rough and violent life all throughout.
In Jeffrey Cohen’s article, Monster Culture, this story of Jeff Weise and his experiences of being bullied in school, and how he was raised by his family is similar to “Thesis 1.” (Cohen, 4) How it is that Weise became a mass murderer in his school, and it has been widely shown on news reports, and articles that had creates shocks and fear for the victims involved during that attack. Because the attack is so dangerous, it psychologically warns us to be on a look out for school shooters when in school or don’t go to school at all because something like this could happen; we’ll never know.
According to the “Monster Cultures,” this whole story of the shooter is relating to another thesis and that is Thesis IV, where it states that the monster can come in many different diversities, and the main one for this situation is about culture. As I said before, Minnesota and its reservation areas tends to have a poor society with high crime rates, and abuse of elements to make them imminent while it has been inhabited by nearly uncivilized Native American. And for bullying, even bullies in school can see it and just judge how unusual the kid looks or behaves. Ironically, according to Thesis IV from the monster theory, it informs that Native American are “unredeemable savages,” (Cohen, 8) which does relate to Jeff Weise and his family living in under these circumstances. So, it can be clear that Native Americans like this family are monsters, especially Jeff, if we have to believe that all Native Americans in the world are a bad kind of ethnicity that will terrorize our society. Another thesis from “Monster Culture” that connects to Jeff Weise’s relationship with his family is Thesis VII, where it addresses that the monster returns with “full knowledge” of what made it to be. For Weise, he was raised by his parents the wrong way, and bullied by his classmates frequently in his middle school and high school. At the end, he dealt with his problems by shooting out his school and killing a few people he somewhat loathed to end it all. So, we can say that he became a “monster” because everyone around him provoked him.
A bully can be identified as a “monster” by the victim who gets involved by it, but when they fight the bully the hard way, does that make them a monster as well? Well, it depends on how much it will go on until the victims snaps just like how Jeff Weise did. And it only gets worse and worse it doesn’t stop at some point. Then again, the main causes of this mess alone are bullying and suffering a mental illness from someone who did the exact same to the one being pulled back from well-being. If all of this didn’t happen, everything would’ve the opposite.
Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome. “Monster Culture: Seven Theses.” From Monster Theory: Reading Culture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996. 3-25.
Harden, Blaine and Hedgpeth, Dana, “Minnesota Killer Chafed at Life on Reservation: Teen Faced Cultural Obstacles and Troubled Family History.” Washington Post Staff Writers, 25 March 2005 pg. A01. http://www.bluecorncomics.com/redlake.htm
Karanikola, Maria N. K., et al. “The Association between Deliberate Self-Harm and School Bullying Victimization and the Mediating Effect of Depressive Symptoms and Self-Stigma: A Systematic Review.” BioMed Research International, Oct. 2018, pp. 1–36. EBSCOhost
KUTNER, MAX. “‘We Didn’t Create a Monster’.” Newsweek Global, vol. 165, no. 11, Sept. 2015, pp. 40–49. EBSCOhost
Nazir, Tehseen, and Falak Nesheen. “Impact of School Bullying on Psychological Well-Being of Adolescents.” Indian Journal of Health & Wellbeing, vol. 6, no. 10, Oct. 2015, pp. 1037–1040. EBSCOhost