As it turns out, Klawes was just one of dozens of NMU students, if not more, who have been told over the years that they could face disciplinary action for discussing their suicidal thoughts, according to an investigation and press release just published by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. The ostensible goal of the policy is to “protect” students from other students’ suicidal thoughts and actions. But this policy, in addition to violating students’ free-speech rights, could also be doing serious harm to vulnerable students at NMU, according to mental-health experts.
This seems like a really damaging idea. I wonder if it came about as a result of someone misinterpreting some very real concerns about discussing the details of a suicide in the media, and the risk of it creating a contagion. But, they are really misunderstanding that practice. Forcing students who may be having suicidal thoughts and feelings to isolate themselves is not going to help.
Let’s hope someone figures this out and changes this policy.