Colleges track strange student behavior

Shooting in Newtown, Conn. reminds students they have resource to prevent tragedy at home

Indianapolis

Area colleges are investigate strange student behavior in an effort to prevent a tragedy on campus.

After the shooting at a Newtown, Connecticut school, some local students felt helpless.

"You never know what can happen and you're never safe anymore," said IUPUI student Jennifer Daugherty.

Another IUPUI student, Danielle Scott, wondered if the next gunman could be one of her own classmates.

"You never know what their thinking and what's going on through their mind," she said.

But both students feel a little safer knowing that their school is trying to figure that out.

At IUPUI, 27 people make up a watchdog group called the Behavioral Consultation Team, which analyzes and addresses anonymous tips about students exhibiting "Bizarre or strange behavior such as acting 'out of touch' with reality."

Student or teachers can send them an anonymous tip about anyone using this online form and then the team investigates. They can refer the student to get professional mental help and reserve the right to take disciplinary action if necessary.

At Butler University, the Assessment and Care Team is made up of 12 people that meet bi-weekly to go over concerns.

Security and terrorism expert Peter Beering said it’s a good start to solving the violent problem.

"It's always better to try to manage the risk and influence the outcomes before the problem happens than it is to react to it," said Beering.

The programs, however, require everyone on campus to be alert. Something that’s more important now than ever.

"After the Connecticut tragedy, that just kinda showed it can be anyone,” said Scott. “So I think even one little sign means a whole lot."

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