As the news trickles out about the killings at VTech, I know we are all pretty saddened, shocked and alarmed. For me, I find it disturbing that Cho Seung-Hui had written extensively for his courses as an English major and that he even was referred to counseling by his writing teacher. These things hit real close to where I spend a good part of my day, a day I often share with many like you.
So, I want to ask what our response might be at this time. We might think about revisiting some scholarship that has been published on dealing with violence in writing. I can't remember the title of it, but I recall an article about a piece of writing that described beating up a homeless man. It turned out to be fiction, but the teacher's response and thinking about appropriate action was really insightful. This may be a good place to start.
We may even look at Cho's writing. Distasteful as it may seem, it is posted online. We may ask what separates it from other writing that is also predicated on violence or just ask what we would do if a student handed in something like it in our courses.
My hope is that we can at least take an opportunity to inform ourselves on the possible situations we face as instructors.
So, I guess I am open to suggestions or ideas at this point and have a lot of questions about how to make this happen. If you have an article, a suggestion, a clue, or word of wisdom, please share! All I ask is that this not turn into rampant theorizing or polemicizing. Please keep the politics to a minimum.