Creating separate permissions for the Mentions feature in Discussions Redesign

Community Participant
Hi, I was directed to post my feature idea here. 
Problem statement:

Currently, the permissions for the Mentions feature that is part of the Discussions Redesign is bundled together with the "Conversations - Send messages to individual course members" permission that, when disabled, prevents users from messaging one another using the Conversations tool. The problem is that institutions who disable this permission (perhaps due to FERPA or other privacy concerns) are now unable to use the Mentions feature. At our school, this is disabled for Students, rendering the feature mostly unusable for them. In this example, you can see that a student is trying to mention another student, but only those with the Teacher, TA, and Grader role appear in the list of options. The student posting ("Test Student, Paula Stu One") can also mention themselves, which seems odd.

Proposed solution:

Because Discussions is intended to be a more open forum of communication than Conversations, we'd like to request that the permissions be separated.