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Va. Tech led schools to re-evaluate policies

By Stevenson Swanson
The Chicago Tribune

NEW YORK — In the year since a mentally disturbed student went on a shooting rampage at Virginia Tech, federal regulators, educators and legal experts have tried to reach a new understanding of the complex web of privacy laws that came under heavy criticism as one of the reasons no one acted in time to prevent the tragedy.

New regulations, information campaigns and legislation are all part of the effort to make sure that college and university officials realize that in cases of imminent threats, the safety of students trumps legal barriers that otherwise would prevent officials from discussing a student's mental state or revealing student records.

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