How to stop campus violence before it starts

1a1393d12c0584ecc0f14450898417ef

In the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy, nearly all large colleges and universities now have behavioral intervention teams: a half-dozen or more campus staff — including mental health counselors — charged with identifying at-risk students and developing action plans.

This month Routledge will release what is, perhaps, the most thorough examination of these teams: “Ending Campus Violence: New Approaches to Prevention.”

“If there’s an overarching theme I’m trying to get across here, it’s connecting with at-risk students and trying to get them some care, so they don’t spin-off into rampage violence or destructive choices,” says author Brian Van Brunt, from his office at the University of Western Kentucky, where he is the counseling center director.

As the former president of the American College Counseling Association, Van Brunt has overseen hundreds of on-campus mental health cases — and studied hundreds more. In one of the most compelling sections of “Ending Campus Violence,” he culls common themes from these cases into hypothetical scenarios and poses them to experts: from journalists who have covered campus shootings to current campus counselors — and even former FBI agents.

“One of the most common [ways that colleges go wrong] is this ‘zero-tolerance policy,’ which is borrowed from K-12 school systems: this idea that any type of weapon or threat might lead to expulsion,” says Van Brunt. “For me, this is a sledgehammer approach for something that might need a ball-peen hammer: immediately expelling a student without a proper threat assessment or conversations with that student. So we’re seeing a lot of overreaction by the schools, and that can actually be the catalyst that moves that student to a more dangerous set of behaviors.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Jeremiah Oliver funeral delayed until May for defense…

A judge has delayed the funeral of 5-year-old Jeremiah Oliver so that defense attorneys can carry out an independent autopsy.

International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

DA: Homeless man severely beat by men in…

Two former college football players pleaded not guilty to the alleged severe beating of a homeless man in Allston earlier this year.

Movies

Review: The parkour film 'Brick Mansions' needs more…

"Brick Mansions," the American remake of the French parkour film "District B13," is a rough, cheap retread that ruins its best stunts with hectic editing.

The Word

Is Avril Lavigne's new music video racist?

Some fans say Avril Lavigne's new music video is offensive to Japanese people.

Television

Jodie Foster married girlfriend Alexandra Hedison this weekend

No need to rely on cryptic Golden Globe speeches for your movie star sexual orientation questions anymore: Jodie Foster is married to a lady. Foster…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

NFL

Patriot’s schedule comes up fair

Those looking for built-in excuses for the Patriots 2014-2015 season will have to look elsewhere, because their schedule came up fair. For the fourth straight…

MLB

Nava demoted, Victorino return imminent

  Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava, who was batting a team-low .149/.240/.269, was demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday. "His struggles at the plate, I…

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox top Yankees, 5-1

John Lackey shines, Pineda ejected in Red Sox win

Tech

Spider-Man's web shooters get real

A German lab technician has created a working Spider-Man web shooter, which fires pellets and a harpoon-tipped, retractable fishing line instead of a liquid web.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.