Nearly one year after the Virginia Tech shootings and nine years after the Columbine High School massacre, Gayle talks with psychologist Dr. Susan Lipkins about these tragedies and how parents, students and teachers can take steps to prevent violence on campus.
In both the Virginia Tech and Columbine rampages, young men who had been social outcasts shot and killed random people on campus. Since then, Dr. Lipkins says some changes—such as text messaging alert systems and emergency sirens—have been put in place on college campuses to warn students when a shooting occurs, but she says it isn't enough. "I would like us to start looking at it from a proactive, preventative way," she says. "Start looking at why are kids doing this and what can we do with our kids in high school and in colleges to provide them with the kind of psychological help they need."
People who attend or work in schools can make a difference in preventing more shootings, Dr. Lipkins says. "Everybody really needs to reach out to those kids who are suicidal, who are desperate, whose behavior has changed and you have a gut feeling about them," she says. "Please don't hold it in—tell somebody, share that information. You might be helping that child save his life as well as [those of] many other innocent victims."