Drudge has a link to this Washington Post article
that details a classmate's encounter with the Arizona shooter in a college class. Here are some highlights:
From June 10:
"As for me, Thursday means the end to week two of algebra class. It seems to be going by quickly, but then I do have three weeks to go so we'll see how I feel by then. Class isn't dull as we have a seriously disturbed student in the class, and they are trying to figure out how to get rid of him before he does something bad, but on the other hand, until he does something bad, you can't do anything about him. Needless to say, I sit by the door."
From June 14:
"We have a mentally unstable person in the class that scares the living crap out of me. He is one of those whose picture you see on the news, after he has come into class with an automatic weapon. Everyone interviewed would say, Yeah, he was in my math class and he was really weird. I sit by the door with my purse handy. If you see it on the news one night, know that I got out fast..."
Across the country, there are other Jared Loughners out there--students who are mentally ill, and disturbing classrooms with little to nothing being done--either to help them or the other students. Their behavior is just to be tolerated. The Post
article did say that Loughner was thrown out of class after 3 or 4 weeks but he probably just went on to disturb someone else. Welcome to classrooms across America.
A while back, I wrote an article entitled "Violence on Campus: Practical Recommendations for Legal Educators"
along with two University of Tennessee Faculty members. In it, we outlined steps for teachers to take to reduce the chances that a student would commit an act of violence. For a while, no law review would take it. Why? The suggestions were apparently not PC enough. The Journal of Legal Education
at Georgetown turned it down--stating that we "must be working with John Ashcroft" given the suggestions we made. Our outrageous suggestions? Have a designated person assigned in the school to handle reports of inappropriate behavior. We finally got it placed with a law review but that is not my point.
My point is that as long as schools and society simultaneously place the rights of the mentally ill above other citizens while refusing the mentally ill the help that they may desperately need, we will continue to see mass killings like the one in Arizona. People will seemed dazed and ask "why?" until they forget and another horrible killing takes place. The media will give the whole thing a political spin and indeed, perhaps there is one, but usually only in some idiosyncratic bizarre way that only the killer (or maybe a good therapist) would understand.
And while the media uses the killings for political gain, another Jared is brewing, ignored, feared and filled with fury, rage and homicidal revenge.
Labels: mass murder, violence