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No right to remain silent : the tragedy at…

No right to remain silent : the tragedy at Virginia Tech (2009)

by Lucinda Roy

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She veers off to unrelated things, so I often found myself skimming over them because I was interested in reading about VTech, not so much about her. ( )
  earthforms | Feb 2, 2014 |
No Right to Remain Silent proves to be very informative. But with fleeting details about the actually event, it seems almost to centered around comparison. In the book, the tragedy is often compared to the acts of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris of Columbine and Kip Kinkel of Thurston. ( )
  BeatrixKiribani | May 1, 2010 |
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You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you . . .

--From the Miranda warning,
mandated by the United States Supreme Court
(Miranda vs Arizona), 1966
For students and teachers everywhere
That they may learn together in peace
First words
On the morning of April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho, wielding two semiautomatic handguns -- a 9 mm Glock 19 and a .22 caliber Walther P22 -- killed thirty-two students and faculty members at Virginia Tech. (Prologue)
There is a terrible moment in The Collector of Treasures, a volume of short stories by the late Bessie Head, a biracial South African writer.
"Can't you return those words back?" she asks him, as if death has no more permanence than an item purchased in a store." (p. 13, quoting Bessie Head's "The Wind and a Boy."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Prologue p.1
Part One:Horror story p.11
April p. 13
A boy named Loser p.30
Connecting the dots p.62
Prey p.86
The panel review p.96
Part Two: Backstory p.113
The setting p.115
The First Amendment p.141
Teachers and students p.167
Writers and writing p.191
Armed and dangerous p.213
Part Three: Dialogue p.241
Testimony p.243
Translating race p.259
Parents and children p.275
The anniversary p.285
Epilogue p.292
End words: a sestina p.301

Recommended texts and resources p. 303
Notes p.305
Index p.317
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307409635, Hardcover)

The world watched in horror in April 2007 when Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho went on a killing rampage that resulted in the deaths of thirty-two students and faculty members before he ended his own life.

Former Virginia Tech English department chair and distinguished professor Lucinda Roy saw the tragedy unfold on the TV screen in her home and had a terrible realization. Cho was the student she had struggled to get to know–the loner who found speech torturous. After he had been formally asked to leave a poetry class in which he had shared incendiary work that seemed directed at his classmates and teacher, Roy began the difficult task of working one-on-one with him in a poetry tutorial. During those months, a year and a half before the massacre, Roy came to realize that Cho was more than just a disgruntled young adult experimenting with poetic license; he was, in her opinion, seriously depressed and in urgent need of intervention.

But when Roy approached campus counseling as well as others in the university about Cho, she was repeatedly told that they could not intervene unless a student sought counseling voluntarily. Eventually, Roy’s efforts to persuade Cho to seek help worked. Unbelievably, on the three occasions he contacted the counseling center staff, he did not receive a comprehensive evaluation by them–a startling discovery Roy learned about after Cho’s death. More revelations were to follow. After responding to questions from the media and handing over information to law enforcement as instructed by Virginia Tech, Roy was shunned by the administration. Papers documenting Cho’s interactions with campus counseling were lost. The university was suddenly on the defensive.

Was the university, in fact, partially responsible for the tragedy because of the bureaucratic red tape involved in obtaining assistance for students with mental illness, or was it just, like many colleges, woefully underfunded and therefore underequipped to respond to such cases? Who was Seung-Hui Cho? Was he fully protected under the constitutional right to freedom of speech, or did his writing and behavior present serious potential threats that should have resulted in immediate intervention? How can we balance students’ individual freedom with the need to protect the community? These are the questions that have haunted Roy since that terrible day.

No Right to Remain Silent is one teacher’s cri de coeur–her dire warning that given the same situation today, two years later, the ending would be no less terrifying and no less tragic.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:58 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Chronicles one teacher's efforts to reach out and help the extremely troubled Seung-Hui Cho, which were hampered by the school's rules regarding student confidentiality, leading to the April 2007 massacre of 32 students at Virginia Tech.

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