Sunday, April 22, 2007

Privacy vs Safety on campus.


Do colleges have an obligation to protect students privacy? or is the obligation to ensure the safety of their students more important?


Could invasion into medical records and disclosure of mental health unfairly discriminate against people?

13 comments:

~RitaMarie~ said...

Though universities are not allowed to release information to the parents or guardians of children, I do think that in a case where there are suspicions being raised in regards to the student's well being, it is the responsibility of the college to protect him or her. Also, if able to, notifiyng the families show that not only are they looking out for that one student but also for the good of everyone else. As stated in the article, colleges "...can’t really kick someone out because they’re writing papers about weird topics, even if they seem withdrawn and hostile..." however if this person is proving to be a disturbance (which in the Virginia Tech shooting was the case)to those attending classes with them than the school should have some right to take the precautions that they feel appropriate in such a situation. In class we spoke about 1 in 100 people who seek advice in dealin with the stresses that college and the world around them has thrown their way. While 1 in 100 seems like alot, 99 out of 100 is without a doubt more and if that 1 in 100 is a threat to the safety of the other 99 than why would you force a college into a no win situation. Not saying that you have to completely kick that person out of college but they should be forced to take classes elsewhere, such as online and under go a certain amount of counseling and a final evaluation before being able to physically return to on campus living and interaction. In my opinion, if you can save the entire 100, I would rather save 99 than worry about 1 who has proven to be a hazzard to the rest.

christine mullen said...

Listen I feel everyone is entitled to his or her own privacy. But if your privacy involves you seeking or needing to seek help than somebody other than your doormats should know for the number one fact more than just your doormats could be in danger. If she or he cant face the fact of them needing to seek help. Then the student needs to be notified that their parents will be contacted about their condition. The staff of the school should notify the student with a letter asking them to sign off that they agree they need help and the school should contact the parent. Or the school can take the second route and give the letter stating parents will be contacted. That way the student is aware of the privacy being dealt with in the open.

Am very sorry about the unfortunate things listed in the article, But if I were the principle of any of those universities I would not be proud of saying oh I didn’t invade my students privacy, but I have a student putting herself on fire and committing suicide or worst cases. Is privacy that sacred I don’t feel as if it is. For the simple facts everybody knows ask your self where do the most rumors get spread. DING DONG you’re the lucky winner of course schools. A lot of it maybe made up but you can catch some real tales being told. About people you would never guess and ect,ect,ect. But that’s my point your willing to sleep with some guy or try some drug. Just to go run and tell your best friend so they can tell their best friend and so on and so forth. We all know how it goes one minute their best friends then they have one fight. Now your best friend is slandering your name telling every secret that was ever told to her. Just to become best friends again the next week.

Now tell me where this makes scene you could go through all that with a friend. But you will be anger at the school for notifying your parents for a serious matter like your life. Now I ask my self again do students really take their privacy as seriously as they make it seem? Or are they just making a fuss about it because the schools are involved? We also have to keep in mind how catty teachers as well as professors could be. It’s a little embarrassing to be sitting in front of a professor with him knowing I tried to kill myself last night. Its something to think about remember everyone cares about how much information outsiders have on them without them willingly giving it out!

Anonymous said...

Listen I feel everyone is entitled to his or her own privacy. But if your privacy involves you seeking or needing to seek help than somebody other than your doormats should know for the number one fact more than just your doormats could be in danger. If she or he cant face the fact of them needing to seek help. Then the student needs to be notified that their parents will be contacted about their condition. The staff of the school should notify the student with a letter asking them to sign off that they agree they need help and the school should contact the parent. Or the school can take the second route and give the letter stating parents will be contacted. That way the student is aware of the privacy being dealt with in the open.

Am very sorry about the unfortunate things listed in the article, But if I were the principle of any of those universities I would not be proud of saying oh I didn’t invade my students privacy, but I have a student putting herself on fire and committing suicide or worst cases. Is privacy that sacred I don’t feel as if it is. For the simple facts everybody knows ask your self where do the most rumors get spread. DING DONG you’re the lucky winner of course schools. A lot of it maybe made up but you can catch some real tales being told. About people you would never guess and ect,ect,ect. But that’s my point your willing to sleep with some guy or try some drug. Just to go run and tell your best friend so they can tell their best friend and so on and so forth. We all know how it goes one minute their best friends then they have one fight. Now your best friend is slandering your name telling every secret that was ever told to her. Just to become best friends again the next week.

Now tell me where this makes scene you could go through all that with a friend. But you will be anger at the school for notifying your parents for a serious matter like your life. Now I ask my self again do students really take their privacy as seriously as they make it seem? Or are they just making a fuss about it because the schools are involved? We also have to keep in mind how catty teachers as well as professors could be. It’s a little embarrassing to be sitting in front of a professor with him knowing I tried to kill myself last night. Its something to think about remember everyone cares about how much information outsiders have on them without them willingly giving it out!
Though universities are not allowed to release information to the parents or guardians of children, I do think that in a case where there are suspicions being raised in regards to the student's well being, it is the responsibility of the college to protect him or her. Also, if able to, notifiyng the families show that not only are they looking out for that one student but also for the good of everyone else. As stated in the article, colleges "...can’t really kick someone out because they’re writing papers about weird topics, even if they seem withdrawn and hostile..." however if this person is proving to be a disturbance (which in the Virginia Tech shooting was the case)to those attending classes with them than the school should have some right to take the precautions that they feel appropriate in such a situation. In class we spoke about 1 in 100 people who seek advice in dealin with the stresses that college and the world around them has thrown their way. While 1 in 100 seems like alot, 99 out of 100 is without a doubt more and if that 1 in 100 is a threat to the safety of the other 99 than why would you force a college into a no win situation. Not saying that you have to completely kick that person out of college but they should be forced to take classes elsewhere, such as online and under go a certain amount of counseling and a final evaluation before being able to physically return to on campus living and interaction. In my opinion, if you can save the entire 100, I would rather save 99 than worry about 1 who has proven to be a hazzard to the rest.
Jay Mangubat

Sam said...

The solution is simple. IF someone raises multiple red flags, (like with teachers, other students, other faculty, etc.) it should all be reported to a dean. When a person comes to 3 red flags in their "file" or whatever it is, the college should have the right to see that student's medical records, and send notification to the parents. But in order to do all that you need to present 'probable cause' to a board of teachers and/or administrators. Then that student should go through 2 months of counseling, and more if necessary.

Ta-Da!



A college definitely has an obligation to protect it's students and its perfectly okay to mandate counseling or not let someone live on campus etc. if that student poses a threat to everyone else.

Invasion of medical records could discriminite against people if not done properly. Like I said before, it would be a good idea to make whoever is keeping track of the red flags or whatever, they would have to present evidence to a panel of people before any action is taken.

Josh Crafton said...

Universities do have the responsibility of protecting their students privacy, but within reason. If there is a dilemma or circumstance that a student is enduring can place other students in danger, I do feel that a school official should be notified about what is going on and their parents as well. We can not keep allowing individuals to keep commiting horrible acts like the previous one and blaming their actions on their circumstances.
The killer gave so many signs of a trobuled individual, and yet no one could do anything about it. Violent writing material, extreme social isolation, and a previous record of stalking was not enough to at least keep an eye on him? If a school feels that a student can be a threat to the student body then at least counseling should be enforced. Will we be more upset that our privacy is slighly invaded to keep us safe, or distressed that action was not taken before another massacre occurs?

carolina baberii said...

Rita raised a good point, although it is 1 in 100 students that have been reported to seek help and counseling for depression it’s a lot more crucial to the safety of a university as a whole than we think. College can be an awkward and stressful situation for anyone but some people deal with it in different ways. Such as the Virginia Tech shooting, the young man who took many lives that day dealt with his stress by purchasing a gun and killing himself and others. If colleges were obligated to ensure the safety of their students as a whole maybe this situation would have never happened. I truly believe that protecting a student’s privacy could only do harm towards the student his/herself and the school. Perhaps if the school were forced to tell the parents (or person that pays the bill…) then counseling would be provided and therefore safety will be ensured for the student and fellow students.
If we want to avoid something like the Virginia Tech shooting in the future we would have to make a lot of changes. First of all colleges should be able to give a mental exam to see if the student isn’t a threat to the campus (at the start of each school year). If the results of the mental exam are weary then the college should have the choice to look over medical records. By doing this all students of the college will be protected from any harm. If a student is already enrolled in a school but over the years develops depression they should be given the chance to take a semester (or more) off and receive mandatory on-campus counseling, then the school should be able to determine whether the student is capable of attending their school or not. This may seem like a lot of precautions to take but if you think about it this is the only way to keep our colleges as safe as possible. Although my privacy means a lot to me I think that if my life were in danger it would be important for my parents to know. In my opinion a school should take any measures possible to ensure the safety of their students.

~RitaMarie~ said...

Can someone explain to me why Jay's post is a word for word combination of what Christine posted and I previously posted???

Zohra Ali said...

I think that colleges have an obligation to protect the students right to privacy, unless the student is planning on using their privacy against others putting them in harms way. Any student could have their privacy for themselves but once they try to use it to put others in danger is where colleges should draw the line and try to fish out the details. Privacy is great, but too much privacy can cause such tragedies like Virginia tech. If one student out of 100 is diagnosed with a mental illness it shows a high risk of college students walking around with unlimited privacy allowing them to do the unknown that can put not themselves in danger, but others as well. I think the school has to ensure safety for all because it is a public institution but do it in a way that it doesn’t infringe or tread on those students that are seeking help. Its good that these students recognize that they have a problem and are getting help but trying to avoid the fact that they need help wont work either. I think this was the hardest article yet this year to try to choose a side on whose right or wrong, or who should be allowed privacy because its so controversial. I know people who have depression and know what they go through, see, and feel at times. Hearing these stories seem so unreal and unimaginable but sad to see that people have to go through these kinds of things. It seems like students or people who are depressed are under a large amount of social pressure around them. I think if students are undergoing depression therapy or any type of therapy they should be allowed to take off a semester to deal with their personal issues. If doing this can help at least 1 in 100 of these students, its one less accident to happen, or one less ticking time bomb. it’s a hard topic to decide on how I feel, but it must be even harder for colleges to decide on what they want to do since it is a catch 22 situation, they “damned if they do and damned if they don’t”. If they take away privacy of students, then they will be angry, but if they don’t situations such as the student who set themselves on fire after telling a counselor she wanted to commit suicide and didn’t alert her parents so the situation could have been avoided. Reading what the class wrote on the blog, I still cant choose a side to be on. If that was my child who set themselves on fire I would be angry that the college didn’t inform me she was ill in the first place. Looking at this from an economic stance, if the parents are paying tuition they are paying it for their child who is going to be there for a while. If the parents are willing to pay a lot of money for a place for their children to be safe, and have a good place to dorm, there is a silent contract that the place should also be a safe place to say. Parents aren’t going to send their child to a place where they cant be safe, they send them to a place where the college looks after the student and its well being. Since the money is coming from the parents, they should know how their child is doing in their classes such as the grades they are getting and how they are doing mentally because they still are their parents children, and if they aren’t financially ready to pay for college then they are still living under the watch of their parents. Parents as much as students don’t like to admit it have a big role in students school life, even if they aren’t the ones getting the grades. They look out for not only the education that child is getting, but how their child is doing. I don’t think that a college should or can discriminate against anyone with a mental illness because that’s unfair to anyone, but I think they should be able to work around it especially with the taking a semester off to find ones self.

..zilber said...

Colleges should not have an obligation to protect students privacy. If a student is dangerous or experiencing mental health problems it should be reported to the parents FIRST. They are adults but the people who love them should be able to know whats going on. Its not a privacy issue, its a safety issue. The article states that 1 out of every 100 college students experience mental health problems, thats A LOT. Even though the majority of these cases are minor and not dangerous the one bad seed can cause a lot of damage. I think that the disclosure of mental health records and such will not have an impact on the accpetance of a student. If they meet the guidelines i believe they should be treated indifrently. People with known mental problems entering the school should have to see help every so often, and any red flags should be reported and kept in file, that way you can have ecidence the student is a safety concern.

nyshee said...

i agree with rita marie becasue you cant really kick people out of scholl because there writing werid papers they can just fine but beacause of there essays something is really wrong and that not because something is really wrong with them is that because they are going to be kick out because college of a essay and not showing signs of being "out there" thers no reason 2 be kicked out.

Anonymous said...

I feel like in our day and age who really does have that much privacy? Even the little privacy given could be questioned. It’s like the teachers will find out about everything even stuff before it happens. Yeah the situations can be a little serious or not even that serious. How ever when something big like the Virginia Tech shooting happens of course no one does anything. With that whole situation I just think its ridiculous how he wrote all these violent things and he had just came from another country. Don’t we always read how when somebody usually commits a crime there were all these signs of them acting strangely but nobody did anything about it? Safety is being questioned so much now because of all these horrific events happening in schools. Like Mr. Brown said everyone heard about the Virginia Tech shooting and said “Oh another columbine”. We aren’t really that shocked with this happening. That’s really sad. Yeah the Columbine shooting occurred because nobody wanted to be aware of these students that did the shooting. Shouldn’t have that been a wake up call to speak up about students who seem disturbed to help prevent these horrible events from occurring. I am one person so I don’t know what goes on through different people’s heads and how they feel when something goes wrong. I know my friends and family all deal with situations differently. Some worse then others. High school and college students are the ones who really stress and worry about their social lives. Everyone knows this so I just don’t understand why more isn’t being done for the safety of our children. Privacy is all bullshit to me now. Take my privacy before you take my life please. I rather have my privacy invaded then someone not knowing about a shooting that could kill me or my friends.

Invasion into medical records and disclosure of mental health is not unfair to discriminate against people. I am sorry if you had a mental record something is obviously wrong with you or was in the past. Okay maybe not discriminate against an individual but they should be paid special attention. Then again everyone has a little crazy into them. It’s a matter of reaction. One person can cut themselves if their sad, another can just cry their eyes out, then another can just give an attitude to everyone round them, etc. Then there are unfortunately those that can get a gun and shoot people. What ever the case is I think all these people need help from a loved one or anybody who notices them crying out for help. If our society wasn’t so selfish and opened up their eyes to the troubled ones maybe all these crimes wouldn’t take place.

-Vishnell
[[ii haven`t been able to lOg in for some reason for like the past week]]

kaitlyn said...

After reading what sam said about her solution I think she has a better idea of what to do than some other people. When you turn 18 you become an adult, regardless of whoever is paying for their tuition. If your parents help you buy your house, should they then have to pay your mortage payments, or if they help buy you a car your car payments? No, that's YOUR responsibility. Parents should not have to recieve a monthly report about their child's health, mental or physical, because in most situations their child is 18. But as sam said if they have a certain number of strikes against them then maybe their parents should be notified because they pose a greater risk to themselves and their peers.

Jonathan Midelton said...

I feel that privacy should be given to everyone, but if it exceeds to limits it should be handled in a better manner. When i say this i mean that if it can later be a danger to other students it should be put in the open.

For example the Virgina Tech! They say they knew he was troubled, if so why is it that they didn't seek help for him. I believe that if he was given a place where he can express his feeling and be open in a one to one conference, matters like that would have been avoided.

In conclusion i think the safety of students on the campus is more important. If you could have taking one persons life into consideration many others will be spared!!!!
-Jonathan Midelton