There is so much you could write about this latest school shooting. Gun control no doubt will receive renewed interested as a result. But I want to focus on another issue.
Dr. Charles W. Steger, the president of Virginia Tech, defended the school’s decision not to evacuate the campus after the earlier shooting at the dorm. One reason, among many, he gave was that thousands of people were already on campus by this point and it would have been difficult to inform them all and get the school shut down.
My reaction to that? You’re crazy! Notifying the student body would have been as simple as announcing the school was closed via email and any PA system, as well as sending administration staff out to inform students personally. Classes could also have been canceled by sending emails.
As soon as a few of the students knew what was going on and why it was closed word would have spread like wildfire. We’re talking about late-teens early twenties students. the most plugged in generation of all time. Instantly word would have gone out through text-messages, instant messages, facebook and even phone calls. Informing a few would have informed everyone.
The bomb threats from the previous week and the shootings at the dorm should have set off warning bells. Even if the events were not linked, precaution would have been warranted. Evacuating the school may not have completely prevented the tragedy, but it would have reduced its scope. Its a shame the right decision was not made.