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The threat of copycat violence is once again on the minds of parents and school administrators after Monday's deadly shooting in California _ and with good reason, experts say.
Reports of bomb threats, rumors of murderous plots, and acts of violence crop up with unnerving frequency after such tragedies. Experts say a child's feelings of alienation coupled with the media blitz are critical ingredients in the formula that spawns the "copycat phenomenon."
Monday's shooting "will have a copycat effect," says Jack Levin, director of the Brudnick Center on Violence at Northeastern University in Massachusetts. Most of the incidents will be hoaxes or acts of minor mischief, such as pulling false alarms. However, some may be extreme.
Levin notes that a few students who are enduring teasing and bullying may "think of this rampage …