Reviewer E. Scott Geller says of the book This Is Not a Fire Drill: Crisis Intervention and Prevention on College Campuses,
[it] educated me substantially about the complexity of the issues surrounding the seemingly straightforward task of identifying severely disturbed students and removing them from the university community if they impose a possible danger to themselves or others.
Geller has been a faculty member of Virginia Tech (VT) for over 40 years and was there at the time of the tragic shooting in April 2007 when senior Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed over 30 students and injured at least 26 others. In his review, Geller highlights the following discussion in the book:
After the VT disaster, for example, laws were passed by the Virginia legislature that "have wide-ranging implications for clients, counseling centers, and universities themselves" (p. 108) and "will result in a significant alteration of business as usual, potentially for university counseling centers across the country" (p. 122). Will these changes be beneficial to the prospect of preventing disasters caused by university students? A lawyer and current president of the National Behavior Intervention Team Association says "no," claiming such policy change "is ill-considered," mainly because it "potentially undermines the clinical relationship, creates incentive for the subject to lie" (p. 122), and decreases the probability of a long-term student–counselor relationship.
Have the colleges/universities you are familiar with made changes to policies and procedures to monitor for and respond to potential threats from severely disturbed students? Do you consider the policies/procedures justified or adequate/inadequate? What is your opinion of how they affect the student-counselor relationship?
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