I haven’t wanted to post about the Virginia Tech shooting because there’s really nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said more eloquently.
Yesterday when I got to LCC, I had a new handout in my mailbox. It’s all about what to do if a crazed gunman runs around campus trying to kill everyone! It was two pages, including such ground-breaking new policies as “Don’t aggravate the shooter” and “Give your name and location when dialing 9-1-1” Um, thanks? That’s totally what we’ll do if we’re not being shot to death!
I tend to think that anything that isn’t directly related to ESL is a waste of time. But this one seemed particularly backwards, since protecting oneself against a homicidal maniac is secondary to spotting trouble before it involves murder. The killer at VT was, at some point, someone’s little boy and someone’s student.
As teachers, we are required by state law to report any suspicion of physical or sexual abuse in our students’ lives. What about psychological problems? Do we have an obligation to report a suspicion of potential mental problems? And if we do, how do we keep from shipping every grumpy goth kid off to already-overworked school shrinks? How do we sort out a future mass murderer from every other student who’s having a rough breakup? How can we lead troubled kids like Young towards writing bad poetry and away from killing other people?