2007_08_colsi.jpgDuring a time when most college students are looking forward to another school years, the ones at the College of Staten Island were a bit alarmed. See, a few days ago, CSI sent a letter to students explaining that 41-year-old Annadale resident and former state trooper Thomas Austin would be studying with them. And that Austin was a Level 3 (the highest) sex offender. Welcome back to school.

Naturally, students and other faculty became very concerned. Austin was imprisoned after taking pornographic pictures of a 7-year-old in 1997 and then jailed again after trying to get a 14-year-old to take "lewd" pictures of herself over the Internet in 2004. Austin was paroled and had been living with his parents when he enrolled at CSI. CSI has a public school and day care center on campus, but officials decided that telling him he couldn't have contact with those students was enough.

Yesterday, CSI president Dr. Tomas Morales decided to ban Austin from campus. The school will refund Austin his tuition money, and the Staten Island Advance says CSI does not anticipate a lawsuit. Well, a lawsuit from Austin probably seems manageable relative to potential lawsuits from upset parents.