Commentary: Fearing Our Students Won't Help Them

Months ago, a participant at a conference where I spoke talked with me privately about the dismissal of a troubled student on her campus. Her conscience bothered her, she said, because the student was "different" — but not threatening — and was removed because he made other students and staff "uncomfortable." We agreed that hair-trigger "mental health" dismissals were probably more frequent after the Virginia Tech shootings and that the practice was harmful both to colleges and