How much should parents know about their college age student? In the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre, a Pennsylvania congressman is proposing changing privacy laws related to mental health issues. Pennsylvania congressman, Tim Murphy, says last week's tragedy proves the mental health privacy law needs to be changed. Murphy says the current law is too vague. The current law does not require parents to be notified if their child is in danger. Congressman Murphy is trying to make it easier for universities to keep parents in the know. Murphy says he wants Congress to better define when a university can release students' mental health information to their parent. Is this an invasion of privacy and will it even help? Local social worker, Tab Ballis says, “university students are adults, not children so it's not clear if informing the parents would serve an immediate health and safety problem." UNC Wilmington student Matt Lettrick says, "If they are not tied to their parents their parents aren't going to do anything anyway." On the UNCW campus, opinions are mixed. UNCW student, Michael Merrill, says, “it's a good safety net, but at the same time everyone has their individual rights." Nick MacDonald says, "In reality I think that it will benefit the whole society." The mental health expert we spoke to says telling college students' parents may not help, but rather the best practice would be to do background checks on every incoming college student.
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