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Jokela School Shooting on 7 November 2007

On 7 November 2007 a bloody deed took place in Jokela where a senior high school student shot eight persons and himself in a school centre. The reasons for the school shooting were multifarious and complex, and the shooting constituted a deliberate criminal act showing the methodical nature that constitutes an essential element of murder. The marginalization of the perpetrator was of a special kind, the result of several contributory factors. The family, upbringing and the school community but also society as a whole, nowadays including the Internet environment, are in a prime position for preventing marginalization.

To prevent school shootings, time consuming work has to be carried out simultaneously on different fronts to find solutions to several issues. The Investigation Commission presents 13 recommendations to reduce the probability of school shootings and lessen the harm done by them. Many of the recommendations involve the prevention of marginalization.

According to the Investigation Commission, student care should be developed so that the resources will correspond to recommendations, the work will be systematic, efforts will be made to actively identify the problems of the students and the performance of support measures ensured. Mental health services should be developed so that co-operation between basic health care, specialised health care and the social services will be smooth and a young person in need of help will get the best possible comprehensive care. Systematic and well-functioning practices to prevent bullying should be actively used in the schools. Intervention against school bullying should be made at an early stage and the situation followed up.

The perpetrator found both models for the school shooting and like-minded discussion partners on the Internet. With the help of the Internet he was also able to ascertain the motives and thoughts of previous school shooters. In addition, he used the Internet to get publicity for his act. The Investigation Commission recommends that the Internet should be more comprehensively moderated and the web tip information system of the police enhanced. Among other things, the criminalisation of the preparation of an offence against life could give the police a better chance to pinpoint the identity of a person planning such an act.

The Investigation Commission also takes a position on the development of the co-operation between the police, the Department for Rescue Services and the paramedic services as well as on the improvement of official information. The improvement of the work of the media is considered separately on the basis of a separate statute on the investigation of the event, and the Investigation Commission recommends stricter self-regulation.

Jokela School Shooting on 7 November 2007 (pdf, 1.43 Mt)

Published 7.11.2007