A Year after Virginia Tech, Sharper Focus on Troubled Students

By Khadaroo, Stacy Teicher | The Christian Science Monitor, April 16, 2008 | Go to article overview

A Year after Virginia Tech, Sharper Focus on Troubled Students


Khadaroo, Stacy Teicher, The Christian Science Monitor


April 16. The date of Virginia Tech's tragedy resonates for campus leaders the way Sept. 11 does for the nation.

The fatal shootings of 33 students and faculty there a year ago have put colleges and universities on high alert for potentially troubled students. On many campuses, that means more support is available. But the incident has also caused a reaction in some places that mental-health professionals view with concern. When students with serious mental issues are unfairly barred from campus, they say, it doesn't improve campus safety and could drive the problems underground.

"We are seeing the campuses really trying to understand who needs help ... so they don't fall through the cracks," says Kevin Kruger, a spokesman for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, based in Washington. But he says a growing number of faculty have been calling administrators about disruptive students, saying things like, "I want them out of there."

One student took an overdose of pills and then threw them up and sought counseling. The next day, the school placed her on leave.

"I felt I was being punished for my depression," she wrote in a letter to Karen Bower, senior staff attorney at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law in Washington. "Instead of trying to learn more about me, they kicked me out so someone else could deal with me."

The Bazelon Center sued George Washington University in 2005 on behalf of a student placed on leave after seeking emergency psychiatric care for depression. The suit was settled. As a result of the suit, Virginia legislated that public universities could not penalize or expel students solely for suicide attempts or treatment for suicidal thoughts.

If struggling students are automatically placed on leave, others won't want to come forward about their own or a friend's troubles, "and that breakdown of communication will be very harmful," says Gary Pavela, who teaches at the University of Maryland, College Park, and has written about college mental-health issues.

Of course, colleges do have to decide where to draw the line if a student's problem is beyond their capacity to help or if their behavior violates conduct codes. A student's severe troubles can at times put a burden on roommates and classmates, even if it's not violent.

"Going to school is not a right; it's a privilege," says Carolyn Reinach Wolf, director of Campus Behavioral Health Risk Consultants and a lawyer in New York State. "There comes a point in time where a student just can't remain on campus."

Still, people with mental illness shouldn't be pegged as violent - they are more often victims of crime than perpetrators, Ms. Wolf says.

Students with mental illnesses have a right to ask for reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Year after Virginia Tech, Sharper Focus on Troubled Students
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.