A Perfect Storm

Lucinda Roy, author of No Right to Remain Silent: The Tragedy at Virginia Tech, believes that education is heading to a perfect storm. Although she said she was warned not to write the book, she did so because “I believe we have to speak openly if we are to prevent these tragedies.”

Roy shared her comments during Virginia Press Women’s fall conference when she was honored as its Newsmaker of the Year.

Roy lists 10 reasons why education is heading to a perfect storm —

1) Shortage of teachers

2) Lack of mental treament facilities for students

3) Accessibility to gun and bomb making information on the Internet

4) Mental illness and suicidal tendencies in students

5) Non-teacherly focus of presidents, deans, who have not taught

6) Pop culture exposure to excessive violence

7) Growing divide that separates youth culture and adult culture

8) Prevalence of bullying in K-12

9) Rise in alcohol, drug abuse

10) Open campuses with littel security

She wrote the book because “We have to speak out,” she said. “We can’t let it happen again.”

VPW’s Newsmaker: Lucinda Roy

Virginia Press Women honored Lucinda Roy as its Newsmaker of the Year during its fall conference. Roy, author of No Right to Remain Silent: The Tragedy at Virginia Tech and herself an alumni distinguished professor at Virginia Tech, said she liked to think of herself as “a cross between Mary Poppins and Tina Turner.”

She moved into creative non-fiction because of the tragedy at Virginia Tech, which she said was not an anomaly. “There are many other disturbed people like him,” Roy said.

Writing the book was difficult. She spoke out before the tragedy and in the aftermath. The result is that some people are angry at her and won’t talk to her. “We have to speak out,” Roy said matter of factly when she accepted the award. “We can’t let it happen again.”

She shared how she contacted everyone from police to counselors to the office of student affairs. “I was worried that the information would remain in a pocket so I contacted everyone,” she said. She believes they tried their best but that they were constrained by policy – that of student privacy.

Roy wrote the book because she believes the tragedy at Virginia Tech could happen again.

Next time: Roy believes education is heading to a perfect storm. Why?