School sends 6 year old off to the psychiatric Ward

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Marcie Mac, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

  2. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    In this situation, perhaps they over-reacted, but the policy is one that is in place in many SD's, including my own. However, you would hope that the adults involved would exercise better judgment. on the other hand, a 6 year old child should not be playing video games with images so graphic that when they are copied they alarm adults about his mental health and maybe they were concerned about a mother who allows her child to access such games to a degree that he draws pictures of it.
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    been there done that with- thank you. I was not a happy camper. I felt the school succumbed to his bologna manipulations and took the easy way out. But it was a therapeutic school, with folks who were intimately informed of his medications, diagnoses, multiple hospitalizations, ongoing therapy, etc. I felt they should have known better.

    In a regular education setting, for a child with (I'm assuming) no IEP, and school staff with no knowledge of what treatments he may or may not be getting, I cannot say this was out of line. The SD referred him for evaluation. That evaluation by non-SD staff determined he needed to be admitted.

    The flip side of this is what if the boy had not been evaluated in the hospital and *had* hurt himself?

    Pretty much a no-win situation all the way around.

    What do you think the chances are the SD will initiate an educational evaluation and provide appropriate supports for him now?
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    My kid drew violent pictures from her imagination on ways she could think of to kill herself, until she actually tried hurting herself at school by slamming her head against a wall. Then I got a call that I needed to take her to the psychiatric hospital or they would call for transport to it.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I have an issue with this. I do. I'm sorry. I might make people mad. I really do not care. Because this needs to be looked at seriously and debated both on a professional level, not just the school but the medical/mental health community AND the public as a whole.

    Do I believe the school should have been concerned? Of course.

    Do I believe the mother should've been contacted and brought in? You bet your bottom dollar.

    And then? This is where I'm probably going to make people mad.

    At that moment the school had no right to make another move. Period. At that moment treatment of her child was up to that parent. TOTALLY her responsibility, her right as a parent. Instead, school took it upon themselves to "do the right thing".


    Why? They're only concern was for the safety of this child. Maybe.

    Probably, with equal worry over being sued, for certain. So how could such a thing be wrong?

    Without any real knowledge of this child's medical/mental/environmental/family ect background the school takes it upon themselves to decide what is in the best interest of this child's psychological well being. That alone is WRONG. They are in NO position to judge whatsoever. They simply don't have enough information for such a judgment. They don't have the education for such a judgment, they don't have the experience for such a judgment.

    So in effect? Parental rights got stomped all know the person who knows this child's medical/mental/environmental/family ect background, has the experience to some degree and usually the education at least about their child.....and ignored. The child's rights (yes I'm well aware that under 18 a child has no official rights) were stomped all over to be given proper treatment for his situation.

    Why on earth was this allowed? In the name of "safety" of course (really getting tired of that excuse for everything) and the fear of being sued which honestly outweighs safety if we all choose to be honest with ourselves.

    The end result? A child who has been traumatized to the max on top of all other issues he had already going on.

    If school could not contact a parent, then by all means you've got to do something if you honestly believe it's a life or death situation. I don't mean you fear you're gonna be sued. I don't mean if you fear the child may hurt themselves 3 days from now. Life or death At That Moment. Anything else parents can be contacted, informed and appropriate action taken.

    And just an FYI..............Nichole sent suicide threats to her vice principal. She was serious. It was out of character and he knew she was serious. He removed her from class. Kept her under direct supervision of another staff member as he called me to inform me.

    So I've been that parent.

    Had they don't what this SD did? I would move heaven and earth until it was legally changed. They would not be able to shut me up. They would wish to heaven above they never met me nor my child.
  6. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

  7. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I agree with Lisa.

    I could have been that mother, too. When A was in 3rd Grade, she said she wanted to die. The teacher thought it was serious enough that she called me but that was it. A was already seeing a therapist and psychiatrist and this wasn't the first time she had said that when she was angry. It was the first time she said it at school.

    I think they overstepped by sending him to the psychiatric hospital over his mother's objections. For all they knew, he could have been going to the psychiatrist that afternoon.
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Dude was committed to the state hospital when he was 5 ------but that was for threatening to kill the neighbor kid with a sling blade for looking in our dog door.

    This? about cutting out the middle man.....Wow. Unless there are a lot of things this story is leaving out behind the scenes like "He was stabbing the walls in the room, jumping up and down on a chair and screaming he wanted to kill people" and et al......I'm not buying it.
  9. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    This happened to a friend of mine in October. The school called the crisis psychiatric team and no one called mom until he was at ER and a school staff went to ER and kept pushing for him to be admitted. By the time they called mom, the decision to admit had been made and it was out of her hands. No one from the school bothered to tell the hospital or the crisis psychiatric people that the child was Autistic, nor that the meltdown was started by staff not following the IEP/BIP. Her son was placed in a horrible child psychiatric hospital (the one that wards of the state are not allowed to go due to low standards of care). Her son came home 4 days later, completely traumatized, terrified of school and covered in scratches and bruises from the other patients.

    Now, whenever he melts down, the school calls the psychiatric crisis people. Luckily, they are starting to get a reputation for trying to go around mom and the crisis worker calls mom so she can get there before any decisions have to be made.

    She now has an attorney and it is going to get ugly. (The attorney is so livid about what the school is doing that she has taken the case pro bono.)
  10. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    It took a long time before I could trust that Tigger's teacher wouldn't do this. I'm exhausted thinking about next year and possibly having to build that trust all over with a new school.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Okay, I am going to preface this by saying I havent read the article but dont normal 4 and 5 year olds have a fairly morbid fascination with monsters and the boogie man and things that go bump in the night?

    I think Keyana is pretty darned normal but she talks about monsters all the time and says they can come kill you and how her brother or her Papa will keep her safe. She claims monsters or witches cut peoples heads or hands off. This has all started since Halloween. I imagine her brother told her something or other to scare her and it just sparked her imagination. Or it is just fairly normal talk in the 4 year old pre-k class she is in. I am sure if it was appalling word would have been sent home by now.
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I never cease to be amazed. DDD
  13. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Though I think the school overstepped, California is an extremely litigious state, and I imagine the district was looking to protect themselves as well as the little guy.

    I also think the parents are wrong to let such a young child play video games that have killing etc. Seems to me that too much violent imagery, added to his worry about his dad being in Iraq and maybe getting killed for real, would be a heavy burden to carry.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Lisa, what you said is FAR from upsetting me. I totally agree with you. I get SO FURIOUS with our schools because if they cannot reach you within 3 rings of a phone they call the emergency contact. Parents who don't answer that fast are often threatened with calls to CPS alleging neglect - even if the child is old enough to walk home or to school or to stay home alone or even babysit!
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Absolutely, the mother should have been called. The parents are called when a kid breaks an arm and has to go to the ER, so what's the difference? This is a good point: "My son doesn't want to go back to school. He's afraid they're going to take him away again."
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    My concern - this kid had separation anxiety, it was the very day his dad was being posted to Iraq - and they separated him from his family right then?

    I do agree though, with concerns that the kid was apparently exposed to violent computer games. But again - talk to the parent. Sort it out with them. Especially since the kid was headed for a therapist appointment that day anyway.

    I've been there done that with the school not calling me when they should have. They had no excuse when I asked them why they hadn't called in the several hours they had been dealing with "the problem". When I happened to turn up and stumbled over my kid who had been left waiting outside the principal's office for hours, I was presented with a fait accompli. They had searched his bag ad his locker and I watched the acting principal work really hard to alienate me from my kid; she kept hammering at me, "We found this," and "We found that," and besides the main issue (which was fair enough) she produced her objects of concern - a small piece of rope tied in a noose (too small to actually do anything, he had just been tying knots, I'd seen him do it at home) and a very crumpled couple of pages from a mild porn magazine which had been at the bottom of his bad and clearly unregarded for months. This deputy was using the "divide and conquer" method, if she could engage me in getting angry with my son, she could make sure he felt friendless and unsupported. So I refused to be engaged, I told her the noose was clearly non-functional, it wouldn't have strangled a rat. And the porn pages - came from a publication available to under-age kids over the counter. I said the porn was not a school problem, I would deal with it. And I promised to discuss the noose with the therapist. I then asked if difficult child 1 had been properly asked for permission to show the contents of his bag and his locker. He had not. They had told him he had to submit, and under the circumstances - they had no rights whatsoever. He gave permission, but it was not informed consent.

    More than schools acting beyond their roles, I really get angry with the mind games they also play on vulnerable kids and parents. I've seen it before - a friend of mine was angry at how her son had been treated by the class teacher. I was involved, so I went with her to the school to have it out with the teacher. Once there, however, the teacher ambushed the conversation, deflected my friend's anger neatly by saying, "You don't know the whole story. Your son has had a history this year of being deceitful, not being a team player, of lying and stealing."
    I was surprised to hear it but the teacher sounded convincing. My friend was won over (sadly) and went home to rip her son a new one. Poor kid - the last he had seen of his mother earlier, she had been heading to the school to be his champion. Then she came home breathing hellfire at him!

    She calmed down over the next couple of days and looked out her son's mid-year school report - written by that teacher only a few weeks earlier. The report praised the boy for his cooperation with others, his honesty, his hard work and his dedication. So her entire act had been the lowest of the low - she badmouthed her student in order to CYA because she had done the wrong thing by this kid in her initial accusation (the one that had me and the mother down there to complain). Then she compounded by slandering the kid further to his mother.

    Teachers are human too. And some people, when they impulsively do the wrong thing, lie about it to cover their tracks. While a lot of teachers are decent people, you will find the ratbags there too, and if you think about it - the ones who are most impulsive and most inconsiderate are also the ones least likely to be bothered by lying to CYA.

    In this case - genuine concern for the kid requires some attention paid to the problem. But the school has to really be sure - are they acting out of genuine concern for the child? Or for themselves in terms of potential legal action? Because the first might justify action, but not the second.

  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    But the school has to really be sure - are they acting out of genuine concern for the child? Or for themselves in terms of potential legal action? Yep, it boils down to that, too. So sad.