A Campus Threat, Part II

If you missed out on the first part of this saga, you can get caught up by reading this post

There have been more developments in the situation my college-aged son is facing with a student I've dubbed PK (Problem Kid).  In yesterday's post, I conveyed my frustration with university administrators who seem slow to respond to the threats made by a mentally unstable student against my son.  The Dean assured me the student, in his opinion, would not carry though on his threats and was just "seeking attention."

WRONG Dean!

On Wednesday night PK's erratic behavior became even more bizarre.  He began rambling about imaginary conversations he was having with Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook).  PK was, literally, hearing voices and completely delusional.

Later that evening, PK's roommate returned from studying at the library to find he was locked out of his own room.  When he knocked, PK refused to open the door and kept calling out, "Go away, xxxx."  (xxxx being my son's name).  The roommate said, repeatedly, "PK it's me, not xxxx – open the door!"  PK refused.  An RA was called to unlock the door so the roommate could sleep in his own room.

Why the students didn't call for help at that point, is beyond me.  I suppose they were confused and didn't know how to handle the situation.  If you've never seen mental illness up close before, I suppose it's very confusing.  (Let's be honest, it's very confusing and scary even when you do understand what's happening.)

At 3 a.m. on Thursday morning PK decided he needed to see Pretty, my son's friend.  He began texting her nonstop.  Her boyfriend was with her, in town, visiting.  Pretty's boyfriend texted PK and told him to stop communicating with Pretty NOW. 

PK didn't like that at all.

PK headed over to Pretty's dorm.  PK got into the dorm.  (No one is sure HOW yet, because it's locked after midnight.)  He sent a text to Pretty stating he was in the dorm and on his way to her room.  Pretty's boyfriend went to head him off before he got to Pretty.  A fight occurred.  Campus police were called.

The campus police, of course, were completely up to date on PK as a potential danger.  They commented to Pretty and her boyfriend they didn't understand why the school was moving so slowly on the PK "situation."

PK is now being held off campus as an in-patient in a psych ward.  His family is flying in from Brazil and will be arriving today.  They'll be meeting with school officials this afternoon.

The Dean tells me they're meeting to discuss "options."

Options?

In my opinion, the only option at this point is for PK to leave the university permanently and get the mental health care he needs.  He's only 20 years old.  I sincerely hope, with anti-psychotic medication and a lot of therapy, he's able to go on to lead a healthy, productive, SAFE life.  I don't think it's a good idea for him to be in the United States when his entire family is in South America.  I think he should go home, be treated, and receive the support of his family.

By the way, my heart does break for PK and his family.  I can't imagine what they're going through.  But, the safety of everyone else must come first.

I sent an email to the Dean which said:

Dean XXXXXX,
xxxx contacted me this morning with details of last night.
Clearly, PK presents an imminent threat of violence to my son and others.
My understanding is that he has been temporarily removed from campus.

I'm requesting to be notified if he is allowed back on campus.
We will need to remove our son from [University] either temporarily or permanently if he is permitted back.

The Dean has informed me that my son, Pretty, and a few other targeted individuals have been offered post-traumatic counseling if they wish to accept it.  (I'm wondering if they would offer this service to the parents of the targeted kids also?)  

Pretty and my son were the two primary "targets" for PK.

In a convoluted way, the attempted attack on Pretty is a good thing.  PK is somewhere where he can't hurt anyone now.  He is, hopefully, getting the treatment he needs.

I'm still amazed and frustrated at how slowly the university addressed this situation.  Apparently, the wheels of campus bureaucracy are not equipped to handle a campus threat swiftly unless there's a gun present.  (Or perhaps, at all until a violent act is committed?)

I'm hoping we hear soon that PK has returned to his home in South America.  I know he's in a secure facility right now, but honestly …

I don't think I'll feel one hundred percent better until I know he's far away from my son.

© Twenty Four At Heart

28 Responses to “A Campus Threat, Part II”

  1. Allyson

    And I wouldn’t either! Holy crap. I cannot believe that this is happening to your son! In light of what has happened over the last week in Arizona and L.A. you have every right to be worried where PK and his lack of mental well being is concerned. I know you don’t want to remove your son from that school due to his friends and studies, but I would hate for you to regret it for other reasons if this kid returns. Prayers for your whole family from northern OC.

  2. Michelle

    You’re right on so many issues here. I’m glad PK is getting help, and hope and pray that it is full help and not just ‘bandaid’ help. Also, glad that your son is feeling safer, but agree that if PK were to go back to that uni you would have to remove your son. A very hard decision, but probably the wisest.

  3. Erica

    An abortive confrontation on campus, in front of others, and near police help was a really good combination of events. Surely, the school has to do something now. Also, target is a better word for your son than victim. I’m still hoping for the best for your family. This is a really horrible situation and PK needs to be taken seriously.

  4. karen

    I am so glad they have finally done something that makes sense. Lets hope PK can go home and be surrounded by family and get the help he needs. Like.. yesterday.

  5. yvonne nc

    I was so afraid his psychotic thoughts were escalating. I’ve seen it too many times. Hopefully he’s getting the help he so desperately needs. Erica is right your son and other were Targets for his delusions. Been there done that, but I knew what I was getting into. It was my job. Your son my want to see a therapist if for nothing else, to just vent. His family has a long road ahead of them. If he is released, your son and the others really do need to leave school. Of course he’ll just focus on others. That’s how schizophrenia works unfortunately.

  6. Jane

    Thank God he’s locked up and that the events that happened last night didn’t involve a gun. And, BTW, being delusional might not be schizophrenia, it might be drug use. This guy might be a sociopath, there’s no way for us to know. I’m not feeling too bad for him right now, just so relieved that your son is OK. I have a son too and would move heaven and earth for him. That university is just plain negligent in the way they handled this. What if PK had a gun when Pretty’s bf confronted him? The outcome could have been vastly different. I still think you should out the university for the sake of all the student’s there or for parents who might be thinking of sending sons and daughters there. It might shake them up enough to change some policies and procedures. Again, I’m so thankful that your son is OK.

  7. Pam

    OMG. That is a good step, but hopefully just the first step to getting that kid the hell out of the school and back to Brazil! I’m so sorry you are going through this and cannot fathom why the university officials are moving so cautiously on this…
    Good luck!!

  8. Jan

    Options??? I’m with you – what other options could there be but to remove him from the school and send him back to Brazil with his parents? It’s not like you’re being unreasonable – this kid has been a problem for some time, apparently.

  9. Kristan

    Yeesh, so much for the noisy ones just want attention… Well, like you said, in a weird roundabout way this turned out okay. (The particular incident, NOT the whole situation.) I agree completely with you that PK needs to go home and get treatment, and I am SO glad to hear that his family is flying up to deal with this in person.
    You’ve been top-notch with all of this, and I hope your son and his friends can appreciate having a wonderful parent like you on their side.

  10. Kelly

    thankfully you can have peace of mind at least for now. I agree with so much of what you said here. I’m still shocked at the ineptness of the school. It’s shocking.

  11. Di

    Hopefully PK’s parents will be supportive enough of their obviously mentally ill child to take him home to Brazil and get the care he needs. SO sorry your son has and is going through this horrible time. And you too seeing as how far away you are from him.
    DI

  12. Issa

    Sigh. This situation is just so horrible. I feel so bad for you and your son.
    I can’t believe the college let it get this far. I’m with you, if they let him back on campus, I’d take your son out. Transfer him. Something. Better that than wait and see what happens next, you know?

  13. WebSavvyMom

    –>My company ran psychiatric hospitals and usually people who are admitted stay only a few days til they’re “stabilized.” I hope he is not released over the weekend since you’ve made it clear the Dean/Administration are unavailable.

  14. Kathy

    I don’t understand why you haven’t retained an attorney. The dean is blowing you off. You need bigger guns. (Pardon the pun.) it’s amazing how quickly people like that get a clue after they get a letter from a lawyer laying out “the options” if they don’t take care of the problem. Given there recent example in Arizona, that dean should lose his job over his poor handling of this situation.

  15. Jack

    Keep the pressure up on the dean. I’d go over their head to the chancellor too. Better safe than sorry.

  16. schmutzie

    It’s so good to hear that PK is being held. Finally.
    And no matter what happens, I hope that PK is barred from that university so that your son can live in peace.

  17. laura m

    I don’t think that PK even being aloud back into the school is a viable “option”. He’s been too much of a distraction and threat to other students, let alone himself. I am with you in teh fact that he should go back and be with his family and get the help that he needs with the support he can get there. Now, it’s not only about him, but the entire student body of the school. It’s taken this dean way to damn long to do anything about it.

  18. DuchessOmnium

    I think the University has handled this pretty well. The University police were briefed on the situation as soon as the kids called for help. The Dean has stayed in contact with you.
    The law says we can’t just haul people off to loony bins when all they have done is talk. That’s both the glory and the fault of our Constitution. I know it is risky, but I’ll take our system over those where arrests come in the night any day.
    Everyone did the right thing here, and I think we ought to celebrate that. Your son talked to you. Other students talked to their parents and to the school. The dean talked to you. Okay, you think he erred too far on the cautious side for PK and not enough on the protective side for your son, but that’s a parent’s view. There is room for argument.
    The police knew what was going on, so as soon as the kids called they were on top of things. That showed that the University listened.
    You sent your son to a good school. Keep on top of them, and keep them on their toes, but so far I think they have done rather well.
    I hope everyone is safe tonight.

  19. Tami

    I think the dean moved to slow. I bet if his kids life was being threatened by a violent psycho he’d move a lot faster. Hope your son gets his life back to normal and that PK gets the help he desperately needs.

  20. A Vapid Blonde

    This must be so scary to deal with given all the horrible things that happen nowadays.
    I’m not a violent person but somethings make me want to break knee caps, and not just the Deans.
    My good thoughts are with you and your family!

  21. annette

    Considering that he is not a U.S. citizen, and is getting in to trouble, I would think he would be sent back home.

  22. Kate D.

    I don’t understand this at all. I work for a Mental Health crisis center. M job is to evaluate people and determine if they need to be placed in the hospital. We have 3 colleges in our county that call us quite regularly to evaluate students. If I was contacted with these facts I know that anyone in my office would have had that student in an ER to see a doctor about having him admitted to a mental health unit. The university dropped the ball. The campus police dropped the ball. The local crisis center (http://suicidehotlines.com/national.html) can provide training on how the mental health process in there state works. I would make this suggestion to the Dean that the campus police and the RA’s be trained as well as administration. please tell your son to attend the PTSD counseling at least a few times.

  23. Vertigo B

    I am so sorry that your family is going through this.
    Unfortunately, I agree with the comment that you should get an attorney. This dean is not taking this seriously enough. As the head of this university, he has a higher duty of care. Part of what you are paying for is the safety (within reason) of your child. They are not providing that, not in the least and you or your son.
    His minimizing of this entire episode is outrageous. He is in over his head and should be reprimanded (at least) or removed from his position.

  24. Neil

    This whole saga sounds just plain awful. I hope you finally get some rest this weekend.

  25. Jill

    I’ve been anxiously awaiting the updates on this since I can’t find time to follow along on twitter.
    I hope that things move along much more swiftly now … and that PK is moved to the place where he belongs … off campus and out of the country.
    This is scary stuff… WAY too scary!

  26. Jenn in Tenn

    So so glad to hear this. Sorry it took this much to arrive at this conclusion, but glad to know something is happening. Hugs

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