Observations. No claims or conclusions. But language and literacy stumbles through the VA Tech story. Cho attacked French and German language classes. He wrote plays and poetry; a poetry teacher kicked him out of her class. In high school, Cho was mocked for his English, his voice. From an AP report:
As part of an exam in Spanish class, students had to answer questions in Spanish on tape, and other students were so curious to know what Cho sounded like that they waited eagerly for the teacher to play his recording, she said. She said that on the tape, he did not speak confidently but did seem to know Spanish.
Once, in English class, the teacher had the students read aloud, and when it was Cho’s turn, he just looked down in silence, Davids recalled. Finally, after the teacher threatened him with an F for participation, Cho started to read in a strange, deep voice that sounded “like he had something in his mouth,” Davids said.
“As soon as he started reading, the whole class started laughing and pointing and saying, `Go back to China,'” Davids said.
Adolescents teasing someone because he talks different isn’t surprising. That there are foreign language classes in an engineering building–it’s a university, everyone teaches all over. (I used to teach freshman comp in the ROTC building.) Cho was an English major, so creative writing and poetry may have been required. All this miscellany. None of it surprising. But so much of it. Like I said, I have no conclusions or claims.