Lucinda Roy, a Virginia Tech professor who met with Seung-Hui Cho prior to his shooting rampage in 2007, argues that university professors should not be armed.
Roy asserts that “College professors and K-12 teachers are not law enforcement officers. It’s our responsibility to notice students who are seriously troubled and bring them to the attention of professionals trained to respond in crisis situations, which is why I reported Seung Hui-Cho to various units on campus. In cases where there is no record of violence, however, even the most experienced teachers, counselors, and law enforcement personnel cannot easily predict whether or not a threat is imminent. But we can detect extreme anguish, consuming loneliness, and unbridled anger in young people and try to intervene before these become toxic.”
When my own campus, Northern Illinois University, experienced a shooting rampage in February 2008, students and faculty members from Virginia Tech reached out to support our grieving campus community. In the days immediately after the NIU shooting, some gun advocates in Illinois suggested that NIU professors should be armed.
I believe that many professors at NIU would agree with Roy that arming professors would not improve campus safety.
This educator celebrates Lucinda Roy’s courage in articulating this forceful argument against arming professors.
Inside Higher Ed published Lucinda Roy’s essay.