Psychologist Dr. Susan Lipkins specializes in campus conflict and violence and has written a book called Preventing Hazing: How Parents, Teachers, and Coaches Can Stop the Violence, Harassment, and Humiliation. Gayle talks with Dr. Lipkins about the school shooting tragedy at Virginia Tech and the steps we need to take to prevent future violence on college campuses.
Dr. Lipkins says the Virginia Tech massacre was not a random act of violence. "I don't really think there is such a thing as random violence—violence is planned, as was this," Dr. Lipkins says. While many details of the Virginia Tech case are still unknown, Dr. Lipkins says increased funding of psychological services on college campuses could be one step toward preventing future tragedies. "I challenge all the universities across America to look at their budgets," Dr. Lipkins says. "See how much is [budgeted] in athletics and other kinds of things that really affect a few, as compared to the amount of kids suffering from physiological issues."
Students play a role in preventing violence on campus and Dr. Lipkins says reporting suspicious behavior is one way college students can do their part. "Almost every campus now has a crisis intervention center." Dr. Lipkins says. "They have online ways of reporting tips about anything, if there is a hazing, if there is a brawl, anything." Some kids might feel bad about reporting a fellow classmate to campus counselors, but Dr. Lipkins says they should not consider it tattling. "You are showing concern," she says.
In light of the tragedy in Virginia, Dr. Lipkins says it is time to make the prevention and intervention systems on campuses better. "We need to use that shock as our energy to stand up and do something different," Dr. Lipkins says. "[We have] to have gun laws enacted, have security on campus change and teach our kids how not to be victims."
Printed from Oprah.com on Sunday, December 8, 2013