Beefing up security and assessments of troubled students at Virginia Tech will take more money, better communication, and further study, says a new report from the university based on a four-month internal study it conducted after the April 16 massacre of 27 students and five faculty members by a mentally disturbed student who then killed himself. The Richmond Times-Dispatch says the report does not address the timeliness of the response by law enforcement or warnings sent to students. The findings point to systemic problems that created confused protocols for dealing with troubled students, hindered communication with care providers, and prompted a need for more training.
Vincent Bove, a New Jersey-based security analyst who represents the families of seven victims, called the report “a glossed-over, candy-coated smokescreen that never deals in accountability.” He called the dozens of recommendations in the Tech report a “self-indictment.” The report urges development of an information architecture “designed from the ground up for resiliency, performance, applications integration and ubiquitous access” and $8 million in immediate improvements, including an alert system already in place. Changes would cost untold millions of dollars, likely requiring new funding from the state, and contributions from fees assessed students, and from federal grants that will enhance counseling services, case management, and notification systems.