Cyber-Bullying; Demonstrations on Campus; Disclosure of Private Mental Health Info Act

Cyber-Bullying; Demonstrations on Campus; Disclosure of Private Mental Health Info Act

Cyber Bullying

Cyber Bullying is a form of harassment and a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. It will not be tolerated. Any student found responsible and in violation will be subject to immediate disciplinary action and permanent suspension from Danville Area Community College. Any case of cyber bullying that is determined to be of a criminal or legal nature will be referred to local authorities.

Cyber bullying occurring through use of the district internet system or use of personal digital devices, such as cell phones, digital cameras, personal computers, and PDAs, while on campus is unacceptable. Cyber bullying activities occurring off-campus can cause significant emotional harm to students. When students are emotionally harmed they may present a danger to themselves and to others.

Cyber Bullying Background

Cyber bullying is occurring both within the school and college environment and off campus. Sometimes students are using the college or district internet system – during classes, after college activities, or at home. Students may also use personal digital devices while at college, such as cell phones, digital cameras, PDAs, and personal computers to engage in cyber bullying. In increasing numbers, students are bringing personal digital devices to college with the expectation that these devices will be used in the classroom for instructional activities. Misuse of the college internet system and personal digital devices on campus is clearly a concern that will be addressed once brought to the attention of college officials.

There are many emerging reports of fights and other altercations, as well as reports of students who are so significantly emotionally harmed that they are avoiding school, forced to change schools, or simply failing. Also, there are increasing reports of youth suicide associated with cyber bullying. It is this combination of online harm and on-campus interactions that presents significant concerns and risks for the safety of the students.

Demonstration on Campus

Freedom of a student to protest by lawful means must and shall be protected by all the authority available to the College. However, when actions of individuals interfere with the legitimate rights of others and are directed at the disruption of the normal processes of college life, appropriate disciplinary action shall be taken. If interference with the normal function and proper conduct of the College occurs, the College may take appropriate disciplinary action including suspension and/or expulsion, and notification of civil authorities when Local, State or Federal laws are broken.

Disclosure of Private Mental Health Information (Student Option)

In accordance with Board Policy 3023.0 and the Illinois Student Optional Disclosure of Private Mental Health Act (Public Act 99-278), a student’s mental health information is considered private in nature and will not be released to a third party without that student’s prior written consent, unless otherwise provided by other state or federal laws.

A student who desires to authorize disclosure of certain private mental health information about himself or herself to a designated person for purposes set out in the Act must complete a Student Optional Disclosure of Private Mental Health Information form, which can be found online at or requested at the Admissions Office (VH). This form must be submitted to the Director of Admissions & Records/Registrar in the Admissions & Records Office (Vermilion Hall). The form will remain valid until the student revokes his or her authorization by notifying the College in writing that he or she is withdrawing this authorization.

In the event that a qualified examiner, who is employed by the College in that capacity, determines that a student poses a clear danger to the student or others, the qualified examiner will immediately contact the Director of Admissions & Records/Registrar or her designee to determine if that student has completed and provided the College with a Student Optional Disclosure of Private Mental Health Information form designating a person to whom the College is authorized to disclose this information.

If the student has filed a Student Optional Disclosure of Private Mental Health Information form, the qualified examiner will, as soon as possible, but no more than 24 hours after making the determination described above, attempt to contact and notify the designated person that the qualified examiner has made a determination that the student poses a clear, imminent danger to themselves, or others. The College shall document any and all attempts of the qualified examiner to reach the designated person.

DACC does not typically employ individuals who have the credentials to serve as “qualified examiners” within the meaning of the Act, who are in a position to make the mental health determination described above. Nor is the College required to employ such individuals. Therefore, the College cannot assure a student that it will be able to disclose the student’s condition to the person that the student has designated to receive confidential mental health information about him or her in the circumstances provided for in the Act.

The Vice President of Student Services will periodically review whether the College employs a “qualified examiner” who is in a position to make the determinations provided for in the Act.

Finally, consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the College may, in situations where a health or safety emergency exists, disclose confidential personally identifiable information about a student without his or her consent, to any individuals the College reasonably determines to be in need of that information for public health and safety reasons, subject to the conditions and limitations set out in FERPA.