There’s no evidence that Rodger had a mental illness that prompted this crime. None. There are more than 100 pages of documentation that he had a radicalized terrorist agenda that was conceived from and encouraged by his friends and peers on misogynist websites, after a lifetime of privilege that taught him that he was entitled to the things he wanted. What he wanted was women, and when he couldn’t figure out how to make that happen, he began to hate women for his own shortcomings, reframing his failures as theirs.
The assumption that Rodger had a mental illness which prompted his violence does two things: it absolves him of accountability for his long term, public campaign of graphic hatred toward women, and pretends that his sentiments were outré rather than entirely in line with the hundreds of men he engaged with on MRA fora and in YouTube comments. Rodger’s writings and ideas are notable for their volume and clarity, not their extremity.
Second: it invokes the ableist myth that mental illness is the primary cause of any violence we find too abhorrent or depersonalized to easily understand, especially when we fail or refuse to recognize the political agenda involved. It’s notable that perpetrators of mass killings who benefit from white privilege are almost immediately labeled mentally ill, even when their actions are clearly motivated by insidious bigotry. Rodger is no exception to this trend.
But not only is it untrue that mass shootings must be borne of mental illness, that false assumption and the immediate rush to rely upon it in almost every case creates enormous stigma against people with mental illnesses who are, in fact, exponentially more likely to be victims of violent crime than the perpetrators of it.
So no, I don’t think he had a mental illness because there is no evidence to support the assumption. And I categorically condemn the use of that assumption to backform an armchair diagnosis, because doing so is a harmful, ableist practice that makes the lives of people (like myself) living with actual, legitimately diagnosed mental illnesses, a nightmare.
I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.
Assuming you’re in a testing grade…
I’m excited about the opportunity to do some “breaking of the mold” after testing but… I also know from past experience how unmotivated kids can be the last weeks of school.
Oh, and to answer the question, we have 21 days… or basically 4 weeks of school.
We had testing in the middle of March, so… Three months.
So, so silly.
We test in early march. To the kids, they’re done. They think the only thing that matters is the test.
I try to do fun things but they just don’t care anymore. :(
We just finished testing last week (April 28 - May 2), and we get out May 28 this year. However, these last few weeks have stuff like SRI testing (a totally BS reading lexile test) and a 9th grade pilot Common Core math test that will completely disrupt the rest of the school’s schedule for two days. I’ve kind of made peace with the fact that even if my kids are super willing, we can’t be too productive with these last days because of outside factors.
We’re testing this week (my kids this Friday), and we’ll have two weeks after Friday of school left (May 23). We also have a pilot 9th grade Common Core English test next week, which I’m a proctor. Not to forget a day of makeup testing. I teach a good number of high school seniors, and their last day is next Friday. However, their grades are due by Thursday. Remember, I’m proctoring exams this week AND next week as well. I may see them once or twice from here out. Luckily, I gave them a study guide for my final exam pretty early.
To hold my state-tested (Biology) class’ attention for the next two weeks, we’re doing some dissections and playing review games for the final exam. Same for my Zoology classes, which will be empty due to no more seniors.