PSU’s Dr. Marcel Lebrun Invited to Address Three European Conferences

August 9th, 2010 by Adam

A Plymouth State University professor and expert on preventing school violence has been invited to speak at three European educational conferences this year, including England’s Oxford University.

Dr. Marcel Lebrun
Dr. Marcel Lebrun

PSU Education Professor Dr. Marcel Lebrun is a 30-year classroom veteran who recently published a book, Books, Blackboards, and Bullets: School Shootings and Violence in America that details the warning signs of potentially violent students. Lebrun says the book’s subject matter is an issue around the world.

“There is a lot of interest,” said Lebrun. “I want to get my message out, getting people who work with this population, getting them the necessary assessment tools and knowledge, how to prevent these things from happening because they are preventable.”

Lebrun previously published two other books aimed at identifying and helping troubled students, Student Depression: A Silent Crisis in Our Schools and Communities and Keeping Kids Safe, Healthy, & Smart.

American educators are seeing a troubling rise in students battling depression and the horrific shooting incident at Virginia Tech heightens the importance of effectively dealing with student depression before it spirals into violence.

“We can’t read kids’ minds, but their behaviors are predictable, they consistently follow certain patterns, and I outline in the book what those very specific patterns are,” said Lebrun. “Most of the young people who accelerate to this level of violence are often motivated by rage, a need for revenge or to stop the bullying or victimization that they are experiencing. Acting out violently is always fueled by some sort of dysfunction or irrational cognitive beliefs or misinterpretations of events.”

Lebrun’s book offers his view of why incidents of school violence are on the rise and what educators and others can do to stop it from happening.

“In the book, it gives very specific information about intervention plans, crisis management, preparation and how to get the parent, the teacher, the administrator, the community, the neighbor, to intervene because behavior is predictable,” Lebrun said. “All behaviors are predictable, but the key is for you to is to identify the patterns and to figure out that this behavior leads to this behavior leads to this behavior –it’s like a game of dominoes.
Some of the kids I’ve worked with are as young as four or five, and are already showing a massive amount of behaviors that are detrimental, like self-abuse, acting out, targeting other kids, physical violence, attacking with weapons like a fork or a knife or a pair of scissors.”

Lebrun is scheduled to speak at Oxford University next month; he previously addressed conferences in Paris and Latvia. Lebrun has also spoken about diagnosing and preventing student depression and violence in a presentation at Harvard Medical School.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or