Federal Va. Tech Report Released

Published: June 14, 2007

WASHINGTON – The “Report to the President on Issues Raised by the Virginia Tech Tragedy” has been released by the Department of Health and Human Services.

The report’s key findings include:

  • Critical Information Sharing Faces Substantial Obstacles: Education officials, healthcare providers, law enforcement personnel, and others are not fully informed about when they can share critical information on persons who are likely to be a danger to self or others, and the resulting confusion may chill legitimate information sharing.
  • Accurate and Complete Information on Individuals Prohibited from Possessing Firearms is Essential to Keep Guns Out of the Wrong Hands: State laws and practices do not uniformly ensure that information on persons restricted from possessing firearms is appropriately captured and available to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
  • Improved Awareness and Communication are Key to Prevention: It is important that parents, students, and teachers learn to recognize warning signs and encourage those who need help to seek it, so that people receive the care they need and our communities are safe.
  • It is Critical to Get People with Mental Illness the Services They Need: Meeting the challenge of adequate and appropriate community integration of people with mental illness requires effective coordination of community service providers who are sensitive to the interests of safety, privacy, and provision of care.
  • Where We Know What to Do, We Have to be Better at Doing It: For the many states and communities that have already adopted programs, including emergency preparedness and violence prevention plans, to address school and community violence, the challenge is fully implementing these programs through practice and effective communication.

For the complete report, click here.

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