CU authorizes mental-health check if students threaten violence

August 1, 2007

A new policy at the University of Colorado says students or staff who make violent threats could be required to undergo a mental-health screening.

The new rule was announced yesterday. It was drafted after the April 16th massacre at Virginia Tech that left 32 victims and the gunman dead.

University officials also cited the separate arrests of 3 students at the Boulder campus for threats or implied threats in the days following the Virginia Tech shootings.

The new policy says Boulder campus officials “may refer individuals accused of making threats of violence for an assessment of the likelihood that they will act on a threat of violence.

A free-speech watchdog group called the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education says the policy could make people hesitant to speak freely despite First Amendment protections.

CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard says the policy was meant to keep the campus safe while protecting free-speech rights.

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Schools: University of Colorado at Boulder