Transcript

Unstable Students: What Educators Can Do

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Karen-Ann Broe and Mark Freeman
Senior Risk Analyst, United Educators; Former President, American College Counseling Association
Tuesday, April 24, 2007; 11:00 AM

The warning signs were there, and professors even sought help for Seung-Hui Cho before he killed 32 students and teachers on the Virginia Tech campus. Karen-Ann Broe -- a senior risk analyst with insurance group United Educators -- and former American College Counseling Association president Mark Freeman of Rollins College was online Tuesday, April 24 at 11 a.m. ET to explain what educators can and can't do when a student displays troubling behavior.

Colleges Feel Caught In Shifting Landscape (Post, April 19)

The transcript follows.

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Washington, D.C.: Colleges are caught in the middle -- Virginia Tech tried to have him involuntarily committed, but the doctor said he wasn't a threat and therefore the judge didn't order him committed. Can we simply ban him from campus based on allegations of potentially threatening conduct, pending a hearing?

Mark Freeman: Hello, Mark Freeman, counseling center director from Rollins here.

No, I don't think we can remove students from college just because they once were a threat and have been medically cleared as no longer a danger to themselves or others. As professionals in the mental health field we cannot predict violent behavior. We have to balance the civil rights of students with their potential for risk to self and others. This is a tough spot and the price of freedom in our country.

What we can do is provide a safety for the student and the campus when such behavior comes to our attention. The Dean or Vice President can call in the student to develop a safety plan and include parents or the student's emergency contact person to provide safety. Any serious "acting out" behavior ought to be addressed by the college or university at some level and involve parental notification in my opinion.

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Alexandria, Va.: In the D.C. area, there is a heavy emphasis on security clearances. It would seem that the best way to encourage college students to seek the help they need without risking limiting their future career options would be for the government and its contractors to phase out their policy of presuming psychiatric treatment to be a disqualification for security clearance. What is your take on this? Shouldn't we do all we can to encourage college students to seek professional help when needed?

Mark Freeman: I agree. Most students come into the counseling center for three main issues: anxiety, relationship issues and depression. These are very treatable conditions and everyone should have access to mental health services on campus, without fear of reprisal and future career considerations. Most students recover well from these main issues. We should make counseling available to all without the stigmatization.

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Arlington, Va.: The warning signs were there and I think the college did everything they were legally allowed to do. Do you expect to see a rash of school administrators overreacting to events that should merit no more than a lecture? This always seems to happen immediately after a school shooting.

Mark Freeman: I do expect this, but I also expect that some well-reasoned consideration and clarification of FERPA will take place so that every college and university will follow clear standards of practice.

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Syracuse, N.Y.: Parents are paying tuition -- they should be in the loop on all health issues instead of excluded by institutions of higher learning. The article doesn't mention the word parent one time. If the parents had been notified of Cho's deteriorating condition they might have been able to do something.

Mark Freeman: I agree with early parental notification for troubled students. We do this at Rollins. If the issue or behavior rises to the level a serious level of concern through RAs, student affairs administrators, and faculty then parents ought to be notified. We have a parental notification policy here. We want to partner with parents in resolving issues with students. The counseling center does not have to be the one to notify because our threshold of privacy and confidentiality is higher than the college as a whole. Congress passed a law a few years ago that gave the right to colleges and universities to notify parents in the event of alcohol use on campus. I think the tenor of our nation is to involve parents in situations where risky behaviors take place.

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Toronto: Coverage of Cho's childhood diagnosis of autism is pretty much missing in the North American media. Why do you think that is?

Mark Freeman: I don't know. I think the issue is really more about his potential for violence, which is not predictable. As mental health professionals we do not have the ability to predict violence. The only indication for prediction of violence is past behavior and that is not necessarily accurate.

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College Park, Md.: Many college counseling centers have a month-long waiting list for clients. Considering advances in mental health care that have allowed those with more severe disorders to be successful and pursue higher ed -- albeit with appropriate therapy and/or medication -- do you foresee counseling centers receiving more support for their role in a campus community's health? This is one issue that seems most pertinent but receives little attention. Thanks.

Karen-Ann Broe: There is definitely a lot more attention given to the important role that college counseling centers play with respect to students with mental health problems. The Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act passed by the U.S. Congress has provided significantly more grant funding for campus suicide prevention programs. That's a start.

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Harrisonburg, Va.: My friend and I have come up with a possible solution that would help or at least should cut down on some of the killings we have today in our schools. Why can't we put some kind of knock out gas within the heating and cooling systems of our schools? Under situations like we've had recently, during an event as in Virginia Tech, if the knockout gas somehow could have been activated as soon as the first shot was heard, a lot of students would've survived. The end result on this idea is that everyone/most victims live, including the gunmen or terrorists. But the key is not to make it so well-known. I would love to know what you think! Thanks.

Karen-Ann Broe: Do you know of any such knockout gas? Sounds like a crazy idea to me.

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Alexandria, Va.: Thank you for taking my question, I have been thinking quite a bit about Cho's fall through the cracks of during his time in elementary and high school. From what I have read he refused to speak in most if not all of his high school classes. Would that not be something to consider as a sign that he should be examined for a disability or mental instability? From grade to grade? I absolutely remember shy students throughout my years in school, but never someone who could be considered a voluntary mute.

Karen-Ann Broe: Not speaking in class, to teachers or classmates definitely would raise a concern. We don't know the facts of Cho's situation specifically. The federal law, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, does provide for assessments of children for disabilities. School systems and parents can use this law to obtain assessments of their children.

Mark Freeman: I agree. More students are coming to college with mental health histories and because of the advances in medication and treatment we are seeing more students who have not had access before. This poses a problem for counseling centers. My colleagues, particularly at larger institutions may have waiting lists. This is problematic. In my experience students here want to be seen immediately. If we wait a week our did-not-show rate goes up. I think students find other avenues to deal with their problems if we are not available. I would like to see an increase in the resources for college and university counseling centers.

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Alexandria, Va.: How do colleges deal with the issue of guns on campus? I know Virginia is fiercely protective of gun rights, but isn't there anything a school can do to limit the presence of guns on campus?

Mark Freeman: This is interesting. The fact is that many colleges and universities ban weapons from campus. These environments tend to be safer than other places in our culture. In fact, the suicide rate is lower on college campuses than for non-students 18-25 because there is limited access to weapons. I wonder if we may see more background checks for mental health histories because of this case?

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Southern Maryland Mom: As a parent of a college graduate, I do think it's important for students, staff and parents to know about someone in their midst that might be a threat. But how do you do that? Isn't everyone a threat at some point? I feel in Cho's case many signs were either missed or ignored and now colleges and universities will get on the bandwagon to ensure this doesn't happen again ... but can they do that? Right now on some campus another crazed student (or staff member) may be planning the next shootout. It's a sad world we live in and the best advice is to "watch your back, be careful where you walk around campus, at the mall, in your neighborhood and be on guard because something like this can happen anywhere at any time." Being safe in this world means being responsible for yourself and follow your senses.

Mark Freeman: We have a "concerned student" program here at Rollins. Anyone in our community can send an anonymous message to the dean. Several administrators meet weekly to discuss how best to intervene on the student's behalf. It can happen on several levels peer to peer, faculty to student, or dean to student depending upon the severity of the situation. We are trying to create a "caring" environment here where we watch over each other.

You are right though, it is difficult to predict violent behavior.

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Alexandria, Va.: While not directly linked to the Virginia Tech situation, there has been some talk as a result of the tragedy about college officials taking a much stronger stance on screening students for violent behavior. One thought is to do criminal background checks on students upon admissions. If a student has been charged or convicted of a violent crime, a decision could be made to either not admit or to monitor the student. Any thoughts?

Mark Freeman: I am sure some colleges and universities may try this and the nation may pass laws for the protection of students on college campuses by instituting background checks. The issue also is preserving the civil rights and rights of students with disabilities.

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Arlington, Va.: What difference would it have made if Cho were a nonstudent, but still committed the same act? The school is no more responsible there.

Mark Freeman: Violence is a part of lives. If he were a nonstudent there may be no previous information about him.

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Aftermath: After 9/11 there was a lot of talk about how mental health professionals were preparing for a flood of calls and health services needs six months after the attacks. After Columbine we saw a number of suicides, a great deal of anxiety and depression among other significant symptoms/conditions in the Colorado community. How is the health system preparing for the long-term prevention of the same in Blacksburg and for the far-flung families of the victims? Are people reaching out to give options so that they can avail themselves in the future as they continue the process of coping?

Mark Freeman: We have a wonderful volunteer system with the Red Cross and mental health providers who do crisis debriefing, and these volunteers avail themselves for counseling in communities where they are needed through the long-term. Hopefully mental health services will be provided and subsidized as part of the healing process even years from now.

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Washington, D.C.: Do you think there should be a broadening of the Tarasoff exception, which currently allows counselors to waive the privilege of their client's confidentiality and be able to inform a potential victim of a specific threat of violence?

Mark Freeman: I don't think so. I do not think it would have mattered in this case to my knowledge. The real issue for me is having a safety net on campus to pick up on the distress of students and involve parents when the level reaches the concern of the college or university. Counselors have a very high threshold before they can breech confidentiality. College administrators do not have that high of a threshold. FERPA allows administrators to contact parents if they are concerned for the welfare of a student.

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FERPA question: Under FERPA and other relevant law, can universities require that students sign a "privacy waiver" giving their parents access to their records and mental health evaluations as a condition of enrollment? Such a waiver might be a way for universities to institutionalize parental awareness.

Karen-Ann Broe: I do not think that requiring students to sign a broad "privacy waiver" would pass muster under FERPA. It is permissible to ask students to consent to release of specified information (e.g. relating to academic, housing, treatment matters) to parents and others on campus as needed. The Family Policy Compliance Office at the US Department of Education is a good source of information on FERPA.

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Washington, D.C.: As someone who experienced severe depression and suicidal feelings after college and again in grad school, I can say that mental health services are inadequate both inside and outside colleges. Outside, you usually cannot find an appointment for at least a week with a trained counselor who accepts your type of insurance (if you're lucky enough to have it covered, unlike my current job). In grad school, I think the wait was less, but the counseling was way below the skill level I previously had experienced and needed. What we need is a true discussion of mental health and we need to remove the stigma associated with it. I know friends who could have used the help, just someone to talk to, but saw it as a weakness and refused when it would have done so much good. And we need counseling covered much more like the health condition it is, not like something extraneous and less worthwhile.

Mark Freeman: I agree wholeheartedly with you on access to mental health coverage. Some colleges and universities have better coverage than what is available in the community. I think parity for mental health coverage with other medical conditions is very necessary. I think that and spokesperson's for positive mental health experiences would go a long way to reduce the stigma.

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Springfield, Va.: As a product of Fairfax County Public Schools, it seem as if Seung-Hui slipped thru the cracks. I am concerned that none of his teachers had him evaluated for services. There also seems to be a shift in thinking in education in regard to these super-large high schools that FCPS keeps building. I would think it is difficult for any kid to feel like they belong in a school with 3,200 kids, such as Westfield High School.

Karen-Ann Broe: You raise a good point. The research conducted by the U.S. Secret Service, the Department of Education and other groups indicates that a young person's social isolation and lack of connectedness are among the risk factors (among many others) of individuals who are prone to self-harm or harm to others. Mark, do you have something to add?

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Senior Panic: I couldn't help but notice that the shooter was a senior, just a few weeks away from graduation. I certainly remember a feeling of panic as I grew closer to graduating and leaving college. Do you think there's any chance that the shooter was triggered by some sort of "senior year" panic? Do you see seniors get anxious and unhappy around this time of year?

Mark Freeman: Yes, they do. We see a rise in utilization with our senior students. The fear of going out in "the real world" is a big step wrought with anxiety.

In fact spring is our busiest time in the school year. Lots of students come to the center with issues. It seems like stress really builds up and comes to a head when graduation or summer nears for any student.

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Washington, D.C.: Wanted to share my own experience -- as a student at the UMD a few years ago, I was depressed (but not homicidal or displaying unusual behavior). I ingested pills in a suicide attempt in my dorm room but took myself to the hospital ER for treatment, charcoal lavage, etc. and was offered either the chance to commit myself voluntarily, or if I didn't agree to, then state law required the physician to involuntarily commit me to a minimum stay (72 hours?) in a psychiatric facility. After my voluntary two-day stay at a nearby inpatient facility, I was released, glad to move on with a diagnosis and treatment plan and to return to classes.

However, upon my return to my dorm that evening I was asked to leave the premises, was supervised as I packed my belongings and was escorted out of the building with the explanation that for my own safety I could not continue living in the dorms until the university's mental health professional could make their own evaluation; the next appointment was two days away. With my parents living overseas at a military base and no other family nearby, needless to say I felt homeless with nowhere to go, just days after a suicide attempt and inpatient psychiatric treatment (I ended up staying in a hotel, on a college student's finances, until they let me back). Was this the best course of action for the university and for me? At the time, I would have and did adamantly disagree (as did my psychiatrist who immediately telephoned the administration), but today I'm not so sure. I'm well now, by the way.

Karen-Ann Broe: I'm very sorry to hear about your situation, and glad that you are doing better now. Our experience at United Educators is that universities are trying to respond with the primary goal of assisting students and others when mental health problems arise. One important step is to obtain an independent medical evaluation to determine if the student needs medication or treatment and if she/he can safely continue at school. Many times a voluntary leave of absence is a good solution -- so the student can recover in a less stressful environment and be welcomed back to complete their studies when they are ready.

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VPI and SU alum: Universities have standards of behavior and students can be expelled for breaking them. Cheating on a Chemistry exam is not illegal -- but it breaks our code of conduct, and a student may be expelled for it. So I find it horrible that stalking and threatening women is acceptable and a student can not be expelled for that unacceptable behavior.

Mark Freeman: There is a judicial process for students who violate the code of conduct in most schools with the sanctions and consequences spelled out clearly in the policy. In the case of stalking the college or police department need a written complaint to proceed so as not to go against the wishes of the victim or survivor. We need to look at that system as well. Our college can summarily suspend a student who we believe is a risk for violence. The problem is an adequate investigation must take place to protect the due process of all parties involved in a complaint.

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We need to rewrite the law: Fine, we don't discriminate against someone with mental illness, but we must draw the line at illegal inappropriate behavior. If the student starts stalking and threatening, his protection doesn't apply because he's breaking the law. One does not get a free pass to break the law if one is sick.

Karen-Ann Broe: You're right that criminal laws need to be enforced and our overriding goal is to protect the mentally troubled student and those around him/her. The problem arises when a student doesn't clearly break the law or doesn't make an explicit threat against anyone. Stalking laws often require a specific threat against the target of the stalking. All of this reinforces the need for interdisciplinary teams on campus (composed of public safety, health, counseling, residence life, and others) to monitor various risk indicators and respond to students in these situations. The responses vary depending on the situation (e.g. leave of absence, referral to counseling, psychiatric assessment, parent notification, etc.).

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Washington, D.C.: There seems to have been a knee-jerk reaction against mental health services for some perceived lack of ability in this case. My own opinion is that if anything good comes of this it will be that we reopen, resume or simply step up the discussion of mental health issues. This still seems to be the last taboo subject in American life/health, and yet the numbers of people experiences some form of mental illness are staggeringly high. Clearly not all of the folks are a danger to themselves or others -- and yet equally clearly, many are not seeking available help.

Which raises a few questions: Do we have in place both systems and trained providers who could handle the load if people were to start seeking care at higher rates? Secondly, what efforts are being made on college campuses to destigmatize seeking care? Having sought care and been treated for depression, it still shocks me how little people know and understand about mental health, and mental health services.

Mark Freeman: I agree with you. As a nation we need to work harder at destigmatizing mental health issues. Role models help a great deal. We do not have in place a system to expand services if more people sought help. Most colleges and universities report being understaffed to handle the counseling load. Wait lists are common and a brief therapy model is used with more serious cases referred off campus. College counseling centers, faculty and staff all refer well to counseling centers. At the beginning of each academic year a student gives a personal testimonial to all first year students about how useful the counseling center was for them regarding normal issues of life and college. The student is in a skit modeling what a counseling session is really like. Students love this program. We saw a 22 percent increase in utilization after instituting this program.

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Tampa, Fla.: So what pro-gun supporters are suggesting is that a shoot-out would solve the problem. Yes, perhaps that would have solved the problem. But that also would create campuses full of itchy trigger fingers looking for the odd-man out.

Karen-Ann Broe: The vast majority of college campuses do prohibit students from possessing firearms on campus. These regulations are difficult to enforce. Access to firearms is a key risk factor as part of a threat assessment to determine if a student is a serious or imminent risk of harming himself or others.

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Alexandria, Va.: GWU and other universities have expelled or suspended students who made suicidal thoughts known to counselors. Why isn't the same hard line taken on students who express homicidal fantasies?

Mark Freeman: GWU was found to violate that student's civil rights and the Americans with Disabilities Act. This is not a good practice, especially when the student is ready and able to return to school after a successful intervention. I think if this kind of situation happens, then students with suicidal or homicidal ideation would be less likely to come to counseling.

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Bethesda, Md.: Since when did mental health become a code of conduct issue?

Karen-Ann Broe: Good question. Mental health itself is not a code of conduct issue. A student with anxiety, depression or other conditions needs counseling and treatment. What the University of Illinois and other educational institutions have done is to require that students obtain a psychological assessment if they threaten to commit suicide. In the Illinois example, a student must attend at least four sessions with a psychologist or therapist. This helps determine how serious the risk of self-harm is and what future counseling or treatment should be pursued.

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Washington, Pa.: Re: Criminal background ... does the student's background really matter if they're qualified? I thought academia was the last bastion of merit. What about the insurance issue? If a student seeks help, they now have a pre-existing medical condition and will be unable to get health insurance, or priced out of the market.

Karen-Ann Broe: Most colleges and universities do ask about criminal backgrounds on applications for admission. Some institutions conduct criminal background checks if there are other "red flags" on the application. If the crime is recent and involved violence, then that is a factor that colleges will consider in the admissions process.

A preexisting medical condition does not disqualify an individual from obtaining health insurance.

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Washington, D.C.: How about the university community where Cho found himself? Tech is a largely white, rural university with no arts community. Cho was pursuing a degree in English and creative writing, which meant that he was in a curriculum that easily could have been populated with white females that were particularly afraid of or hostile to non-whites. Everyone said Cho never spoke, except for the two female students who complained to campus police about his decision to speak to them. I like Virginia Tech, but I don't pretend that it has no weaknesses. Isn't the community where these shooters appear a factor at all in making a bad situation into a tragedy?

Mark Freeman: Colleges and universities that are largely white need to work hard to welcome and help minority students adjust to college life. Many predominantly white schools have programs to help with the adjustment of minority students. I think Amherst is a good new model of proactive support of underrepresented students, particularly students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

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Bethesda, Md.: From personal experience -- do colleges have the right to force students to take medication before returning? Treatment plans overall? I ask this because not all doctors are the same. Being forced to see someone that won't work for you and won't help may do more harm than good. Psychiatric medicine runs the risk of side effects, which may be painful for some. They either can follow these requirements or not get an education.

Karen-Ann Broe: That's a tricky question. If a psychiatric assessment is done and it is determined that medication or specific treatment is necessary for the student to safely remain as a student, then yes, taking medication or continuing the treatment under the supervision of a physician or psychiatrist may be a condition for continued enrollment.

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Washington, D.C.: Cho was a good student in high school and college until just recently. Westfield and Tech are good schools too. What does it say when a student can perform academically but cannot succeed socially when he is a minority? Shouldn't we look to the external environment for answers?

Mark Freeman: Many of our best students who use the counseling center are from underrepresented populations. They often use the center for support in such a "foreign" environment. At the academic awards banquet approximately half of the students receiving academic merit awards have utilized our counseling services. Environmental and campus cultural change are essential for the retention and success of underrepresented students on campus.

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Boston: Isn't the question not whether we should remove individuals with mental health problems from educational settings, but that individuals with mental health problems should be held to the same standard as those without? I don't understand why Cho couldn't have been removed from Virginia Tech for stalking two students -- regardless of his mental health. Same with the high school student in Massachusetts who killed a fellow student earlier in the year -- the school had known he brought a weapon to school and did not expel him. Why can't we just set standards like this (bringing a weapon to school, proven stalking of a student) to expel students regardless of their mental health state?

Karen-Ann Broe: You are correct. Discipline or expulsion of student is based on conduct that violates campus standards -- e.g. threatening behavior, acts of violence, severe disruptions to class or the housing environment, alcohol and drug violations, etc. Or there are academic reasons for suspension or expulsion. For mentally ill students who do not violate conduct standards, the process involves a medical evaluation and a leave of absence if necessary for the student to recover and later continue his/her studies.

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Wayne, Pa.: I have been teaching for 35 years in public schools. I have done my fair share of college recommendations. I also know the lengths my students go through grooming themselves for the college application process. I now feel that this might be a hollow experience. Surely in the course of Cho's application process some red flag should have emerged! I'd like to hear from his high school counselors to ask if at any time they took Cho's family aside and recommend that he would have been better off staying closer to home and being monitored. I think the culpability in this tragedy rested on those who seemed to push him along. A university is not a public school and doesn't have to accept every applicant.

Mark Freeman: Again it is very difficult to predict behavior, especially violent behavior. From all indications he was quiet, reserved and did not draw much attention to himself. I am not sure in high school if he raised any eyebrows. I suppose his history will come out more thoroughly as time moves on.

I am concerned about our need to find blame in this case. It is a tragedy. I only hope we can put some more safe guards in place as best we can given the unpredictability of human behavior.

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Washington, D.C.: Just so we know you are considering all possible aspects, can you describe a situation where a school shooter is exactly what a university or high school deserved? What I mean is not that what Cho or the Columbine did ever was justified, but what factors do we see every day that could at least explain why these things happen other than the availability of guns and the weaknesses of the individuals?

Mark Freeman: After Columbine many educators addressed the phenomenon of "bullying" in school as a possible factor in cases where students become hostile and alienated from their peers. Also, character education programs were instituted in schools to develop altruism and care for self and others. I believe I read recently that violence in schools has dropped since 1999 after Columbine. Hopefully, it was a result of our culture paying attention to the problem of "bullying" kids in school and addressing student alienation.

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Washington, D.C.: Cho sent a text message to a friend saying that he thought he would just kill himself after the second female in less than a month called him a stalker to campus police. Does that sound like a serious suicide risk or just female hysteria?

Karen-Ann Broe: We have to take seriously any student's statement that she/he is thinking of killing himself. Psychologists and counselors are trained to conduct suicide assessments to determine if the threat is real. Thoughts of suicide have to be tied together with other aspects in a person's life to determine if counseling/treatment is needed.

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Philadelphia: Mr. Freeman and Ms. Broe -- As a current college instructor at Temple, and a former middle school and high school teacher, I can think of many kids who, with the right combination of scenarios could have ended up like Cho. It seems that the one thing all of these kids who "snap" have in common is the fact that they have been mocked or picked on for an extended period of time, while also experiencing isolation.

I have always considered it part of a teacher's job to bring these kids into the fold. Even after-class meetings to try to get to know them a little better has yielded tremendous results, while also sniffing out the bullies and working with them. This is a long process, and it is unreasonable to expect teachers with huge classrooms and schedules packed with coaching and administrative duties or extra jobs to compensate for low salaries. This is expensive but in the long term necessary for healthy Americans.

Mark Freeman: I think the students we save who are marginalized is the intentional result of some adult on campus believing in the individual. This is particularly important in middle and high school where peer pressure and judgment of peers seems to be the greatest. I agree with you -- as educators we need to mentor students who are marginalized in the often painful and formative years of adolescence.

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Arlington, Va.: Thanks for taking my question. The major question I want to ask/point I want to raise is on the role of colleges and educational institutions. I always thought that college was supposed to educate and improve the quality of life of all its deserving students into the future. If a student is kicked out, temporarily or longer, they're not receiving the education they deserved; admission is evidence of deserving and qualifying for an education.

Barring other academic issues, what happens to them without a degree from that college? Are other schools required to accept them? In the rare situation when students are placed in inpatient treatment, are they given distance learning opportunities? Won't we lose more talent and create more underemployment?

We cannot ignore the privacy issues either. Taking any action against the student alerts others that something's awry. People often cite the ADA, which requires proof of discrimination, which is surprisingly difficult, expensive, and time consuming -- individuals get buried in paper while the institutions wait you out. While you cannot be denied a job because you're in treatment, you can be denied a job because of a lack of a degree, a lack of solid recommendations, etc. Its a nasty cycle that virtually criminalizes mental illness.

Side note: the police screwed up by releasing information on a ongoing investigation.

Mark Freeman: I think many institutions have policies of grace. We have a voluntary medical leave option. When a student successfully completes treatment and are cleared to return to school they do so. Grades are suspended for that semester and they can resume classes the following semester. We do not deny access to college based upon a mental health problem. Most students return to complete their degrees.

If a student behaves on campus in a threatening or violent manner we may suspend them for their behavior, not a mental health condition.

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Karen-Ann Broe: My thanks to everyone who submitted questions and The Washington Post for holding this forum today. These are important discussions and I am glad that campus safety programs and student mental health are getting the attention that they deserve.

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Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.


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