Safe schools … where?

On April 16, a gunman shot 32 students at Virginia Tech University and then killed himself. In the United States, flags flew at half-staff the next day, as the nation mourned a senseless massacre by a single deranged man who legally purchased his gun just a month ago. Millions of Americans know Cho Seung-Hui’s name, his nationality, his story.

How many Americans know the name of Jaafar Hasan Sadiq and Talal Younis al-Jalili. Hasan Sadiq, a professor at the University of Mosul’s college of arts, was shot and killed on Monday. So was Talal Younis al-Jalili, dean of the university’s college of political science.

After the Virginia Tech shooting, pundits pontificated about school security and recalled Columbine High School (17 dead, 1999) and the clock-tower shooting at the University of Texas in Austin (16 dead, 1966). Threats and fears sent lockdowns rippling across the country, including high schools in Pennsylvania, Florida, Nevada, and Missouri.

More than 230 university professors have been killed since the beginning of the Iraq war, some 56 are missing, and more than 3,000 have fled the country. Some 70 people died in suicide bombings at Mustansiriya University in Baghadad in January. Another suicide bomb in February killed 40 more students, faculty and staff.

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