Kent State Shootings 40th Anniversary part2 ~ Jerry M. Lewis

Jerry M. Lewis is professor emeritus of sociology at Kent State University. As a Kent State faculty member in 1970, he witnessed the May 4 shootings while serving as a faculty marshall. Since then, Lewis has been involved in researching, memorializing, and lecturing about the tragedy,

Despite the substantial literature which exists on the Kent State shootings, misinformation and misunderstanding continue to surround the events of May 4. For example, a prominent college-level United States history book by Mary Beth Norton et al. (1994), which is also used in high school advanced placement courses contains a picture of the shootings of May 4 accompanied by the following summary of events: "In May 1970, at Kent State University in Ohio, National Guardsmen confronted student antiwar protestors with a tear gas barrage. Soon afterward, with no provocation, soldiers opened fire into a group of fleeing students. Four young people were killed, shot in the back, including two women who had been walking to class." (Norton et al., 1994, p. 732) Unfortunately, this short description contains four factual errors: (1) some degree of provocation did exist; (2) the students were not fleeing when the Guard initially opened fire; (3) only one of the four students who died, William Schroeder, was shot in the back; and (4) one female student, Sandy Schreuer, had been walking to class, but the other female, Allison Krause, had been part of the demonstration.