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The Virginia Tech Panel Review investigating April’s campus shootings was critical of failures to link information and follow up for assailant Cho. It also clarified his history. Among its numerous concerns was whether mental health information should follow students applying to colleges. "It is common practice to require students entering a new school, college, or university to present records of immunization. Why not records of serious emotional or mental problems too?" The answer: "stigma." The Review recommended weighing this against “issues of public safety.”

If public safety is an overriding concern in the application procedure, why not also ask applicants a question more likely to expose risk: how many semi-automatic handguns, or other lethal weapons do they possess? About 16 gun deaths a year occur on colleges. The panel steered away from gun control, but did note Virginia Tech prohibited guns on campus. Other items the panel addressed include campus and police responses, Cho's educational background and treatments, confusion about federal privacy restrictions, the failure to engage his family, and tensions between privacy and protection. The report is available on-line.

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Phyllis Vine

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