Bill targets files of troubled students

COLUMBIA --- Colleges and universities should be required to turn over records on disruptive and threatening students who drop out as a way to avoid tragedies such as the recent shooting in Arizona that left six people dead, a South Carolina lawmaker said Friday.

 

Jared Loughner, the suspect in the shootings, had a history of strange outbursts and was suspended from college in September after he claimed in a YouTube video that the school was illegal under the Constitution. He voluntarily left the next month.

Republican Rep. Chip Limehouse, of Charleston, said he doesn't want similar reports of odd behavior to go unnoticed.

"My legislation would require South Carolina colleges and universities to turn over their records concerning behavioral problems where warning bells are going off," he said. The records would have to be turned over to local police agencies.

Limehouse said the legislation does not infringe on rights.

"This is a lot more benign than being on a do-not-fly list. This is not impugning someone's rights in any shape or form," he said. States already have other protections to prevent crimes in their laws, such as sex offender registries, he noted.

South Carolina's American Civil Liberties Union director, Victoria Middleton, was waiting to see the legislation.

"While we haven't seen the draft legislation, we hope that any new regulations would protect both our safety and our privacy," she said.