Tuesday, April 17, 2007

the day after

Am I alone in not jumping all over the administration at Virginia Tech for their "slow" notification to the VT community about what transpired yesterday morning? I am appalled by the criticism of the University's handling of the incident, and the quickness with which fingers are being pointed and blame is being cast.

Let's do a reality check. The first shooting had a response within ten minutes, and appeared to be an isolated incident. Witnesses were interviewed, information was gathered, and based on the information at the time, it appeared that the perpetrator had fled the scene. The dorm where that shooting took place DID go into lockdown until, based on the information at hand, it was determined that it was safe to give the all clear. There was no way to know that the student responsible for the first shooting had other violence in mind, and those in charge cannot be held accountable for not being clairvoyant.

In situations like this things happen quickly, speculation is rampant, and significant decisions must be informed and take into account the big picture. The dissemination of partial or faulty information can prove more dangerous than none at all, and I believe that the University acted properly.

The events of Monday morning were horrific, and the wound that community faces is raw and painful, and will continue to be so for some time. What is helpful to offer comfort and healing is compassion for all those affected, prayers for those who grieve, and reticence in passing judgment.

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