UNC brands anorexic as campus threat
In the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings, the University of Northern Colorado published the photographs of 24 students who had been barred from campus for "honor code" infractions ranging from alleged violent crime to anorexia.
Bethel is on UNC's banned student list. The list of names and pictures were posted on the site this week. The school says it is a response to the shootings at Virginia Tech University, but it admits not everyone on the list is a potential danger.
"It is associated with the shooting at Virginia Tech, so it's being implied that the people on it are somehow a danger to someone else and I am in no way a threat to anyone else," she said. [9News]
There are so many civil liberties issues here, it's hard to know where to start.
The university should not be publicly identifying people as threats without overwhelming evidence that they are a danger to the community. It might make sense to publish photographs of students who had, say, outstanding warrants for their arrests, or restraining orders barring them from campus. Short of that, the university has no business pinning scarlet letters on its students.
Imagine how that mugshot page would look to a prospective employer. Branding someone with the stigma of school shootings is no joke, especially the state where the Columbine shootings happened. People on the UNC list might even become the targets of harassment themselves.
It's doubly shocking that the university knowingly published the photographs of students who weren't deemed threats to anyone but themselves.
How dare the University of Northern Colorado stigmatize an woman suffering from a serious medical condition? How was it even legal to bar her from campus for being sick in the first place?
To publicly brand her as a threat heaps insult on injury.
UNC should immediately reinstate Ms. Bethel and compensate her for the ordeal she has endured.
[HT: Body Impolitic]