LUCINDA ROY'S OFFICIAL WEBSITE
Questions about No Right to Remain Silent
I wrote the book because we’re facing an unprecedented and dangerous situation in our schools and universities. Students everywhere are at risk unless we find ways to deal more effectively with this challenge.
The problem of emotionally disturbed students is more pervasive than people imagine. After the tragedy, I heard from hundreds of people who were facing similar problems with troubled students, trying to alert others to the fact that these young people needed help. I experienced first hand how difficult it could be at Virginia Tech to obtain help for troubled students, and I know what the cost can be when a university is unable to respond appropriately.
I think that we need to begin speaking across our differences, asking hard questions about what the threat really is and how we can tackle it while still preserving students’ civil rights. Student attacks on schools is such a hot-button issue, however—quite possibly the most explosive issue there is because it strikes at the heart of our culture, our future, and our affection—that it can be hard to have a measured dialogue about it. But it’s something we must do as a country.
This isn’t simply Virginia Tech’s problem, it’s one of America’s greatest challenges, and all kinds of difficult questions accompany it. How can you predict and thus prevent a catastrophic attack on a school by a student? What indicators are there to let you know that something could be seriously wrong? What kind of intervention is possible? If we are required to monitor student writing and behavior, how can we protect their civil rights and freedom of speech at the same time? If we don’t have long-term treatment options (and often we don’t because psychiatric beds at public facilities have been dramatically reduced), is it possible to respond effectively to students in desperate need of intervention? And what can we learn from past attacks on schools?
We need to have a sustained, thoughtful dialogue, but we can’t settle simply for rhetoric. We have to implement substantive reform in the areas of education, mental health, and campus security. We also have to take a hard look at things like teacher training, media violence, the role of parents, and gun accessibility.
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Copyright : Lucinda Roy, 2013