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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Joleigh Martinez
Joleigh Martinez
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Hello! My name is Joleigh Martinez, I have been happily working for the North Wind since Sophomore year of my NMU career. I am majoring in Native American Studies and double minoring in Construction systems...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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Amelia KashianNovember 30, 2023

Investigation opened by Department of Justice

The U.S. Department of Justice has opened an investigation into Northern Michigan University concerning a controversial policy around students who express thoughts of self-harm.

The original complaint that sparked the investigation came from an unnamed student who said he/she was asked to sign a Behavioral Agreement stating not to speak with friends about suicidal thoughts, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights (FIRE).

“With the Department of Justice, we are gladly cooperating with the investigation. We have spent a lot of time and energy and hope to come to a resolution,” said Derek Hall, assistant vice president of marketing and communications.

This is the not the first time that the policy has caught the attention of the community. An investigation into the policy was first opened in the fall semester of 2013 by the Department of Education.

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The university has continually looked for guidance on policy 3.12 from the Department of Education since Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was changed in 2011.

Prior to 2011 universities could take action against a student who was either a threat-to-self or threat-to-others. After 2011, threat-to-self was removed from Title II. Title II of the ADA encompasses nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in state and local government services, according to The change left policy 3.12 in the student handbook needing review.

The practice of warning students to not speak about self-harm with peers was continued until early 2016.

NMU’s mental health policies have been heavily criticized, resulting in a petition surfacing in 2015 with more than 2,800 signatures calling for the removal of the policy.

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