Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Special Report: Crisis On Campus

Campus Crisis In Today’s Society
By Jennifer Rozansky

“The most deadly school shooting in U.S. History.” The scariest words that any student from high school or college could see go across the screen of CNN Headline news. Virginia Tech University had just experienced a horror that no one would ever want to witness.

Between Monday and Tuesday, my eyes were glued to CNN and MSNBC. It almost felt like 9/11 all over again with this strike of sadness over me, but I could not get myself to change to any other channel. I had to know who was the killer. What made him kill all of these people? And the many other unanswered questions everyone else in the nation was asking.

I graduated high school from a small town in southern Pennsylvania that is 160 miles from the Virginia Tech campus, so I called a few fellow classmates that I still talk to asking if they remembered anyone from our graduating class who went there. I was lucky, that the answer was no, however not everyone was lucky on that tragic Monday.

The media brought up many questions from a long range such as, “could this have been prevented?” To, “What can we do about gun control?” Honestly, I think the main point to get across is almost like the New York City subway system saying on every train, “If you see something, say something.”

The warning signs are usually there, it is just a matter of not being afraid and stepping up. Everyone is looking for something else to blame, gun control, the school itself, or violence in the media, but when comes down to it, someone has to take action whether it is a classmate, a teacher, or a parent.

A couple of months ago, a documentary aired on the History Channel about the famous high school gun shooting in Columbine Colorado. In it, the parents of one of the killers spoke about when he heard there was a shooting he called 911 to ask who the killer was because he believed it was his son. After seeing this, I was in shook and asking, “Why weren’t the parents arrested? They obviously knew something was up.”

Even in the latest incident at Virginia Tech, an English teacher stepped up and told the media how the student that turned out to be the gunman had written several suspicious papers last fall. However, the school board said they could not do anything about it because it was considered freedom of speech and there was no specific threat in any of the papers. But, if they would have taken some action even if it was asking the student if he was ok, or depressed, could this have been prevented?

With all these latest incidents hopefully society can learn how to step up and say something because, lately it seems we see the warning signs a little to late, and hopefully in the future we as a society can learn to help prevent something like this by taking warning signs seriously and not blaming, the media, the violence, or gun control, in the end it comes down to all of us who are responsible.

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