Recommended: The Washington Post’s long writeup this morning on what’s known about Cho Seung-Hui, the student responsible for Monday’s Virginia Tech slaughter. The story is full of details that convey the kid’s isolation and the sense of menace he apparently conveyed — in one case, 63 of 70 students stayed away from a poetry class he attended because they were reportedly scared of Cho — that I haven’t seen anywhere else. For extra credit, the reporters and editors managed to put together an 1,800-word piece without once describing the subject as “a loner.” That’s almost worth a Pulitzer right there.
“[Poet and poetry instructor Nikki] Giovanni said she appealed to [Professor Lucinda] Roy, who then taught Cho one-on-one. Roy, 51, said in a telephone interview that she also urged Cho to seek counseling and told him that she would walk to the counseling center with him. He said he would think about it.
“Roy said she warned school officials. ‘I was determined that people were going to take notice,” Roy said. ‘I felt I’d said to so many people, “Please, will you look at this young man?” ‘
“Roy, now the alumni distinguished professor of English and co-director of the creative writing program, said university officials were responsive and sympathetic to her warnings but indicated that because Cho had made no direct threats, there was little they could do.
” ‘I don’t want to be accusatory or blaming other people,’ Roy said. ‘I do just want to say, though, it’s such a shame if people don’t listen very carefully and if the law constricts them so that they can’t do what is best for the student.’ ”
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