Sunday, April 22, 2007

pointless liberal navel gazing

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- The student slouched into his chair, his face wrapped in sunglasses, the brim of his baseball cap pulled down low over his eyes. The Virginia Tech professor who took a seat across from him did so because there didn't really seem to be any other option.
But in three hourlong talks that began that October day, Lucinda Roy edged away from the lesson plan for her class of one, moving beyond poetry and drawing the darkly troubled student, Seung-Hui Cho, into a tortured and all-too-brief conversation about the human need for friendship and the pain of being trapped inside oneself.
Looking back, it may have been the closest anyone ever came to reaching the brooding loner before he metamorphosed into the gunman responsible for the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
But soon after their meetings in 2005, Roy -- who alerted university officials with her fears about the student and tried to get him into counseling -- lost touch with Cho. The semester ended. She went on leave. They exchanged e-mails once or twice. Then nothing.
It is only now that she asks herself: What if . . . ?
Roy has wrestled with that question endlessly in the past few days. And it is a variation of the one that now haunts this quarrystone campus and mountain town, an aching doubt that grows with each new revelation of missed signals and miscalculations, twists of fate and legal loopholes, and what appear increasingly like a series of lost opportunities to avert tragedy.
"That's a question I'll probably be asking myself the rest of my life," Roy said. "What else could I have done? Could I have done more? I think probably all of us could have done more."

Lucinda Roy has been quoted frequently in the news about the Va Tech Monster. Quite inadvertently, I'm sure, she has given us a very clear picture of the liberal mindset. Let's first look at the facts that we can all agree on.

1. In all of the interviews that Roy has given, she has never used the word "evil" to describe the killer. She has talked about him being "lonely" and "aggressive" and "isolated" and "edgy" and "darkly troubled," but she has never used the word "evil."
2. When Cho was in Roy's class, he wrote poems that were sexually explicit and aggressive, and he directed them at female students in his class. He also used his cell phone camera to take "private parts" photos of those female students from under his desk. All of the female students in that class felt so violated, and so endangered, that they stopped coming to class.

Those are the facts. Now, how did Roy respond? First, she notified her department head. Second, she expelled Cho from her class. Third, she notified the campus cops. Fourth, she began meeting with Cho one-on-one in an attempt to "engage" him and to make him feel less isolated. Fifth, she "lost touch" with Cho because, well, she went on leave and he didn't respond to her e-mails, and she had stuff going on, on.

I'm a teacher, so I feel somewhat qualified to evaluate Roy's response to the situation. Let me tell you how I would have responded.

I would have immediately notified the Blacksburg Police Dept. I would have told them that I had a student in class who had sexually threatened female students in my class, and that I wanted him arrested. If the police were anything less than rigorous in their handling of the situation, I would have then gone straight to the police chief and the mayor to vigorously voice my concerns. I would have made it abundantly clear that the student was dangerous and that anything less than an arrest and incarceration for the "darkly troubled" lad would result in me going to the press to complain about violent, sexual threats against college coeds being ignored by the police. Understand, Cho wrote in his poems about tearing their bras and panties, and looking at their skin, and other sick stuff. Don't forget that all of the girls in that class stopped attending the class that they had paid money for, because they believed that they were being threatened. The police should have arrested Cho and he should have been prosecuted. When the police refused to do that, Roy should have raised hell until the police did their job.

One other thing--I promise you that I wouldn't have tried to "reach' the kid with one-on-one "mentoring" sessions. You see, as a Christian conservative, I understand the concept of "evil." I know that evil exists in this world, and that it is impossible to reason with or to "engage" evil in "meaningful dialogue." Evil must be recognized for what it is, it must be forcefully confronted, and it must be eliminated by any means necessary. Conservatives understand this. Liberals don't. That is why massacres like this happen in "zones of liberalism"--like colleges and public schools.


Blogger Henry Martin said...

Ms. Roy, being a liberal, could not admit to evil. However, she did do some things right. She separated the offender from the offended and she dealt with the offense in an "all too brief" conversation.

IF she had been a Christian counselor, she could have confronted his sin with the need for conviction and repentance. She could have presented him with the need for salvation through Christ. All this in the context of incarceration if it could have been determined that he had indeed broken laws that called for such.

But, we can assume, she was not a Christian. Or at least didn't allow that part of her life to "interfere" with her job. Cho had probably gone over to the dark side years before this teacher dealt insufficiently with his problem. But "what if" is a dangerous game to play, isn't it?

12:43 AM  

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