David Bernstein is presiding over a thread at Volokh (Apr. 18).
More from the WSJ’s editors today:
A reasonable university administrator might conclude from all this [the suits against Harvard and MIT over the Sinedu Tadesse and Elizabeth Shin episodes, respectively] that mentally ill students–when there is even a remote possibility that they will be dangerous–need to be removed from campus, at least until their condition has improved. But not so fast. In 2004, George Washington University suspended Jordan Nott after he sought medical treatment for severe depression. Officials said later that they were trying to act in Mr. Nott’s best interests, by forcing him to take time off to get counseling. Mr. Nott sued the university, arguing that it had violated his rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act. The school and Mr. Nott settled out of court last fall.
In the same rights-based spirit, Virginia recently passed a law barring public colleges and universities from punishing or expelling students “solely for attempting to commit suicide, or seeking mental-health treatment for suicidal thoughts or behaviors.”
(“Caught in the (Legal) Crossfire”, Apr. 20).
And: “Privacy and anti-discrimination laws have meant paralysis in the face of the scarily insane.” (Kay Hymowitz (Manhattan Institute), “In loco parentis – not”, New York Sun, Apr. 20, original at City Journal). Speaking of privacy laws, Hymowitz writes:
Some years ago, when my daughter was starting out at Amherst, the college president explained the terms of the Buckley Amendment to the parents of incoming freshmen. One parent asked in disbelief, “You mean, if my kid were to disappear to California with a drugged-out nut, you wouldn’t even tell me she was missing?” The president smiled with just a hint of condescension. “That’s right,” he said.