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The state steps in to help protect the safety of community college students

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The North Carolina Community College board is giving schools the thumbs up to discuss ways to refuse admission to students they consider a threat. Cape Fear Community College currently has an open door policy. That means applicants are not required to disclose any information about their personal background, but the school says that could soon change.

When it comes to safety some CFCC students say they're comfortable at school.

"With the Tucson shootings and Virginia Tech I feel safe," said Taylor Flannery, a CFCC student. "I think the school is trying to do a good job and I think now with the Arizona shootings that we are going to improve that."

The state community college board voted friday to move forward with a new rule to help increase student safety.

"Up until this point it's been after students were enrolled, so with this rule what the rule will do will allow colleges to take a proactive step to add an extra layer of security before the student actually enrolls in the college," said CFCC spokesman David Hardin.

The new rule will give schools more power to refuse students during the application process who could be a potential threat or harm to other students. Some students think labeling applicants as a danger or threat rides a thin line.

"Some people do things earlier in life and they still have a chance to make a change and if they want the chance to make a change and come back and get in school i don't think they should be penalized for it," said CFCC student Samod Chandler. "Everyone has a chance to make a change."

The school agrees.

"We don't want to put anymore walls up and we don't want to restrict access to education because that's really why we are here so anyone that can benefit from education and job training we don't want to eliminate that possibility for them," said Hardin.

Community colleges in North Carolina already have the authority to suspend or expel problem students, but this new rule could help them filter applicants before they even step on to the campus.

"I do feel it's better to be safe than sorry," said Flannery.

School officials say this is an issue North Carolina community colleges have been discussing since August.

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The state steps in to help protect safety of community college

The security guards/system at CFCC are totally useless. CFCC is a disaster waiting to happen.

Admission by imperial edict?

Exactly who and what determines who poses a "threat?"

Are we going to wind up like the schools that suspend students because they wear a T-shirt with "NRA" on it? Of how about the student in California who was suspended because he wore a shirt saluting the soldiers in Iraq, a shirt that dared to show a soldier carrying the tool of his trade, an M-16. Zero tolerance for guns meant no PICTURES of guns, either, according to the principal. When a student, upset by a bad grade, curses the teacher or the school, does such an inappropriate display meet the requisite level of "threat?"

If we look at admissions, are we going to wind up where the idiots who blew up the CO2 bottle bombs are deemed too dangerous, but the hood from Tenth Street who has four violent felony convictions before his twentieth birthday gets in because political correctness demands that he somehow "deserves" a second chance?

Incidents like Tuscon are horrible. It seems, however, that the reactions of society invariably start out with great intentions but inevitably wind up walking all over the Constitution.

I have no problem with professionally, legally certified nutjobs being reported to the FBI, so they can't pass a background check and obtain a firearm, but I have a BIG problem with teachers and other students simply deciding that "Billy is weird," and throwing his Constitutional rights out the window. The history and behavior of Seung-Hui Cho and Jared Lee Loughner are completely different and we shouldn't try to compare the two individuals. In Virginia, the state and federal government were borderline malfeasant is allowing Seung-Hui Cho to purchase firearms and attend classes. In Arizona we find a case of a weirdo who never once sought or received mental health care, and accordingly had every right to purchase a firearm. When his school denied further attendance until he obtained a certificate of mental health, he simply never went back to school, which was also his right.

So who determines when weirdo graduates to threatening weirdo? Psychiatrists or community college bureaucrats? Judges or associate professors of English? Fellow students, who may simply not like an umpopular, easily disliked person? If we're going to deny people their rights based upon arbitrary decisions or group votes by unqualified people, we may as well replace the Constitution with community-based dial-in voting a la "American Idol."

"Dial 910-555-1234 if John SHOULD be allowed to attend college, dial 910-555-1235 if he SHOULD NOT be allowed to attend classes."

The simple fact is that living in a free, open society that guarantees individual liberties has ALWAYS had its risks, and restricting individual rights without due process of law is not something we should EVER accept. These people are the same ones who want to extend some imaginary rights to attend community college to illegal immigrants, and they're now exploring ways to deny that same right to American citizens THEY deem to be a threat? (Something tells me that an ardent, conservative constitutionalist will be a threat and imminent danger in their minds.)

We should ALL be watching this one closely.

re: admissions

I agree with you. We go from one extreme to another, in situations like we've seen in the past couple of weeks. Nobody gives thought about what should be done to improve the situation. Everyone seems to just throw stupid suggestions out there. Does anyone give thoughtful consideration to what they do and say anymore? We will never live in a perfect world. There are things we can do to make things safer, but all should be done within the law according to our Constitution. Who would be the one to say who is a threat or not? That is a scary thought within itself.

Where is the right to protect myself?

To CFCC and the State North Carolina,

As a current student at CFCC I feel that this change in the admissions law will do NOTHING to stop the future violence in the school. Yes you will filter certain people from causing problems but that wont stop the mad student from coming to the campus armed. WHERE ARE THE PROPERLY TRAINED SECURITY PERSONNEL? I was told by one of the officers on duty that they are not there to protect the student but to only protect the property and campus. So who protects me the student? The guards at CFCC are USELESS and a waist of my tax dollars and tuition. Where are the armed security guards? Where are the BLET trained personnel that can shoot back and arrest instead of run? Where are the Security Guards that can protect me and wont die if they had to run a few feet? Why not hire real officers and prior military? Let students protect themselves and their fellow students or provide real officers that will enforce school policy. I know from experience in the Security business that security officers can carry tazers, pepper spray, mace, and even a WEAPON. SO WHY AREN'T THEY???

It might be a "waste" of

It might be a "waste" of your tax dollars but it can't be a "waist" of them....and you attend CFCC??? WOW!!!!

Off the Internet and back to class

Guest wrote: "The guards at CFCC are USELESS and a waist of my tax dollars and tuition."

Back to class until you learn proper English.