A Virginia court document said that in 2005 a special justice in Virginia declared Mr. Cho mentally ill and an "imminent danger to others," a CNN report said.
The new information, disclosed by police in a news conference today, raises questions about whether warning signs about Mr. Cho's behavior and problems were handled effectively by police and the university.
Serious question: If you are a university official, and become aware of a court document like this [the Times does not say whether Virginia Tech officials knew about it], or other strong evidence that a student is mentally ill and potentially violent, is there anything you can do about it (other then recommending counseling) without violate relevant federal laws banning discrimination against the "disabled?"
UPDATE: Commenter Hans Bader writes:
It's not clear.
And I say that as someone who used to handle cases involving the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act for the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education.
The law governing K-12 schools, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, is still worse, affirmatively coddling violent students who claim to have behavioral or emotional disabilities.
Courts have construed it as requiring schools to not expel violent disabled students under the statute's "stay-put" provision....
State disabilities laws are also sometimes broader than the ADA or the Rehab Act, making life even more difficult for businesses and schools.