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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina’s community college board is moving ahead with a rule allowing schools to refuse admission to students who campus officials consider a threat.

The board voted Friday to give schools in the country’s third-largest community college system the ability to bar students who appear to pose an imminent and significant threat.

Disabilities groups and the American Civil Liberties Union say they’ll monitor how the policy is applied. They say they worry people with mental and physical disabilities will be hurt.

Community colleges board member Stuart Fountain says the change is an attempt to balance safety with the open-door nature of the two-year schools.

The state’s 58 campuses already have the authority to suspend or expel students to protect others.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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