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Town Square

Schools should help students cope with Virginia Tech tragedy

Original post made by Jeb Bing, editor of the Pleasanton Weekly, on Apr 24, 2007

With bomb threats and disturbing graffiti at high schools in Tracy and Pacifica just a week after the shooting tragedies at Virginia Tech, shouldn't Pleasanton high schools do more to counsel students on campus risks. Today, the school district's popular, dramatic attention-grabber "Every 15 Minutes" at Amador Valley High School vividly reminded students about the dangers of mixing alcohol (or drugs) with driving. But what about similar assemblies on the issues raised following the Virginia Tech shooting deaths of 32 students by Cho Seung-Hui, an apparently mentally disturbed student, who then killed himself? These might help alert high school students here to be more vigilant toward fellow students or those in their social circles who also show threatening characteristics. And, just as important, what to do if they do if they spot a Cho think-alike?

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Posted by Joey
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2007 at 4:39 pm

An assembly is not something the schools need to do in this case. People that do these rare kinds of violent acts always show certain signs. This case is no different. It sounds like just about every person who came in contact with this guy had a negative "sixth sense" feeling about him. People need to recognize what their natural six senses are telling them, and then act on them appropriately.

Instead of an assembly, which would likely not be listened closely by most of the students, I propose teachers during a set class period naturally bring up the topic. This will receive a better reception than students going to an assembly where the issue will be perceived as forced. During the discussion, the teachers should do little talking and let the students voice their opinions. This will allow the students to be engaged in the topic and feel apart of something. The one thing teachers should stress though is for students to not be afraid to speak up when their sixth sense kicks in.

In the end though, I agree the topic should be addressed – sooner rather than later.