Closing the door to ‘threatening’ students

North Carolina community colleges will be able to bar students who appear to pose an “imminent and significant threat,” reports the News-Record.

Disabilities groups and the American Civil Liberties Union say they’ll monitor how the policy is applied. They say they worry people with mental and physical disabilities will be hurt.

In response to the Tucson shooting rampage by a former student with symptoms of schizophrenia,  community college officials are trying to figure out how to identify and help unstable and potentially dangerous students, reports the Los Angeles Times.

He wears stained and dirty clothing and his grades are sliding. His mid-term essay contains disturbing passages and his behavior in class is causing increasing concern.

The student is showing clear signs of psychological distress, and the question for instructors and staff at Santa Monica College is how to approach him. Should they try to talk to him, refer him to counseling or call campus police?

The student exists only in cyberspace, as part of an online training program designed to help college staffers practice ways to deal with troubled students.

The Tucson “tragedy has drawn attention to the increased demand for mental-health and crisis-intervention services on campuses throughout the country,” notes the Hechinger Report. But few community colleges provide mental-health services.