Tuesday, February 15, 2011

6 year old taken to psych ward over a drawing

Pay careful attention to those pictures, moms and dads. 

Last week a 6-year-old California boy, Jack Dorman, was taken to a psychiatric hospital by ambulance — against his mother’s wishes — after he drew a “violent picture” in class and wrote that he wanted to die. When school called Jack’s mother to let her know, she explained that the his father had deployed for Iraq and that he was experiencing separation anxiety. She asked school officials not to send him to the psychiatric hospital, explaining that he had suffered from this in the past and that the family had a therapist she would get him into see that same day.
The school district sent him anyway, saying the ambulance was already on the way, and committed Jack for a 72-hour hold in a Los Angeles psychiatric hospital. The district superintendent released a statement, saying in part, “When any student indicates a desire to take his or her own life, the LAUSD is required to follow strict protocols to ensure the safety of the student … The safety of LAUSD students is paramount. We did the right thing here.”
Jack was returned to his mom after 48 hours. She told MSNBC he is “traumatized”. She is now homeschooling.
Yowza. I’m not one to second guess a death threat, but I wonder if a 30-minute conversation with the mom at school before the ambulance was called might have been a better first step. For a little boy who is afraid to be away from his family, I’m thinking it’s worth at least a quick conference with the parent and a mental health professional before sending him off to the psych ward.

Did the school district do the right thing?

via Today Moms
Image: Preventing and Reducing Youth Violence

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