It’s much too early to draw any firm conclusions about what happened on Monday at Virginia Tech. It is enough if we keep the students and families touched by this horrific incident in our thoughts. Here at my school we are dealing with a slightly different problem. We have a large contingent of students from Korea who are struggling with a sense of responsibility for what happened. Perhaps part of this is cultural, but I have to think that the news coverage of this incident is exacerbating the problem. The news is constantly referencing the shooter’s nationality. I have to ask what this has to do with what happened. Wouldn’t it be sufficient to note that he was a student at Virginia Tech? After all, colleges and universities are international communities. It would be unfortunate if the constant referencing of the shooter’s nationality was a way of distancing or minimizing the emotions of ownership or responsibility for what happened; in other words, it allows us to say that at least he wasn’t American.
Check out the post over at Hugo Schwyzer.