Hi Rand, thanks for reading and responding.
I totally agree that toxic kids often come from toxic situations/environments. I’ve worked in public education long enough to see the many different ways that can play out. But it’s not always true. I’ve seen some kids rise from the ashes of toxicity to become prominent attorneys, medical doctors, and artists. Also, under this theory, how do we account for people like serial murderer and cannibal, Jeffrey Dahmer? He was reportedly raised in a loving home with very kind people and lived a typical childhood. Before he was killed in prison, he admitted several times that he doesn’t know where things went wrong, or why he started acting out his sick fantasies. Could it be something hard-wired into the brain that’s present at birth and manifests this way later in life?
Regarding the “odd” kid, there are no doubt plenty of them, the type of kids who society deems too weird/melodramatic/moody/eccentric/etc. to be befriended. It’s really sad, because we miss out on knowing some really amazing people that way. I’m not sure that we can always blame murderous, savage behavior on the “odd kids,” either. Some kids might seem odd because they have psychological issues ranging from mild depression to severe anxiety, but they’d never so much as hurt a flea. Or they might just be socially awkward, have some atypical personality quirks, or be on the autism spectrum. Doesn’t mean they are the ones who will become the mass murderers. And some kids just haven’t been taught (or didn’t quite “get”) the lessons on typical social etiquette and expected social skills, but they are still gentle souls.
And then, how do we account for the “totally normal” guys who go on shooting sprees, but nobody saw it coming — like the Las Vegas shooter? No reports of him being “odd.” People who knew him stated they had no reason to suspect he’d ever become a mass murderer who’d end up shooting innocent concert goers at the Harvest Music Festival on the Las Vegas strip. No motive was ever found.
I do agree with you though, that the kids who are branded “odd” by peers, teachers, whoever, often have a very rocky road ahead of them. Many times, they are mistreated for not fitting the stereotypical gender roles assigned to them from birth. This is the thing that has got to change, and what I was referring to in this piece. Thank you for your thoughts.