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Santa Fe School shooting suspect’s father alleges bullying behind school tragedy


The real motive still remains unclear behind the Santa Fe High School shooting, one of the most shocking crimes in the history of Texas schools, in which 10 people were killed. Father of the alleged shooter Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, has blamed the suspect’s mental health to be behind the May 18, 2018, incident.

According to the father of the school shooter, Pagourtzis was a good boy who had been bullied at school that eventually led to the unfortunate event. The claim was confirmed by one of Pagourtzis’ classmates, who said that he was bullied by the school coaches. According to Pagourtzis’ attorney Nick Poehl, while there might be some truth to the statement, it was yet to be seen if it was a factor in the attack. Poehl described his client as “scared and confused” and said that the motive may be unclear for his client as well.

However, the accusation made by Pagourtzis’ father was disputed by the school district. In an unsigned Facebook post, the school authorities shunned the claims of bullying behavior toward the student shooter and have asked the public to stand together and refrain from any such miscommunication.

The allegations of bullying were also rejected by some of Pagourtzis’ classmates who described him as a well-liked pupil. According to a 17-year-old senior Gracie Hamilton, Pagourtzis had good friends in the class and was also popular in the football team. She also said that she never saw or heard anyone bullying him. According to a 17-year-old junior Tori White, who had spoken to Pagourtzis once or twice, “He just looked like another person in the hallways.”

According to reports, the suspect had used a shotgun and a revolver, legally owned by his father. The school shooter was later taken into custody and charged with capital murder and aggravated assault on a public servant. At present, he is being held without bond at the Galveston County jail under suicide watch.

Bullying and mental health

An unwanted and aggressive behavior, bullying is a regular part of childhood. While some bullying is physical and easy to recognize, it can also happen secretly through gossip or electronic modes of communication. As bullying involves a real emotional and psychological impact, the behavior may hurt, humiliate or harass an individual and can have some serious and long-lasting negative effects on one’s mental health and overall well-being.

Children who are bullied are more likely to experience negative behavioral outcomes, changes in sleep and eating patterns, health problems and decreased academic achievement. In rare cases, bullying can even result in such people engaging in violent behaviors.

However, the stigma surrounding mental health often prevents people from seeking treatment. With a view to address the associated stigma, raise awareness about mental health issues, and the role of good mental health in an individual’s life, May is observed as the Mental Health Month (MHM). The month-long event, true to its theme for 2018, #CureStigma, gives an opportunity to address the associated discrimination by promoting mental health awareness and increasing public knowledge about the existence of effective treatment services and support.

Different approach toward treatment

One of the leading behavioral treatment providers in the U.S., Sovereign Health offers high-quality care for an array of complex mental illnesses and addictive disorders. What sets us apart is our approach toward treatment – we create individual treatment plans that help patients manage their symptoms and avoid relapses. We also work toward arming each patient with the tools necessary to survive post their treatment completion.

Sovereign Health has multiple treatment locations and accepts most private health insurance plans. For more information about our holistic treatment programs or to know about our events, call us at our 24/7 helpline number (855) 969-5557 or chat online with our representative.

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