College’s policy on troubled students raises questions

Many people had a glimpse of the deep delusions and festering anger of Jared L. Loughner, but none seemed in a better position to connect the dots than officials at Pima Community College, reports the New York Times. After the release of detailed reports the college kept of Mr. Loughner’s bizarre outbursts and violent Internet fantasies, the focus has turned to whether it did all it could to prevent his apparent descent into explosive violence. In September, Pima suspended Mr. Loughner and told him not to return without a psychologist’s letter certifying that he posed no danger. But it took no steps to mandate that he have a psychiatric evaluation, which in Arizona is easier than in many states. Laura J. Waterman, the clinical director of the Southern Arizona Mental Health Corporation in Tucson, criticized Pima officials for not seeking an involuntary evaluation. “Where does it reach a level where you say this person shouldn’t be a part of any community and we have a responsibility to do something about that?” she said.

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