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Regulated to Death

The New York Times has an interesting story on how federal privacy and disability-rights regulations may have helped pave the way for the Virginia Tech massacre by hamstringing school officials ("Laws Limit Options When A Student Is Mentally Ill"). Overlawyered links to discussions of how federal privacy laws like HIPAA and FERPA may have contributed to the tragedy. Professor David Bernstein has opened an interesting comment thread at the Volokh Conspiracy, in which lawyers (including me) cite instances in which disabilities-rights laws have been used to prevent schools from disciplining violent students who have (or claim to have) behavioral or emotional disabilities.