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6 Year old sent to Psych Ward without mom's permission. How would you react?


Have you seen this story about a 6-year-old boy who was committed to a psych ward for 48 hours because of a violent picture he drew at school -- against his mother's wishes? 

Experts say this could happen to any parent: Mental health professionals have the power to put any child in a 72-hour psych hold, without the parents' permission, if they think it's necessary.

In 6-year-old Jack Dorman's case, he drew a violent picture and wrote that he wanted to die. Syndi Dorman says her son suffers from separation anxiety and was having a rough time because her husband was in the midst of being deployed to Iraq. She says she told school officials she would get him to a therapist that day, but they said it was out of her hands and an ambulance was already on its way.

According to NBC Los Angeles:

Dorman said the ambulance ride was traumatizing for her son.

"I was trying to reassure him it would be OK and he asked if I'd come back for him, and I said of course I'm going to come back for you."

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Ramon Cortines 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."

Dorman says that Jack is scared to go back to school, and she's considering home schooling -- 


Asked by tiddliwinks at 12:48 PM on Feb. 15, 2011 in General Parenting

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This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • I have a 6 yr old and If he had drawn a picture and said he wanted to die then the school would have called me right away not taken matters into their own hands

    Answer by alotleft2do at 3:58 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • Despicable. If they did that to my child I'd be more angry than I can describe. He wasn't harmful to himself or others from the sounds of things, it was just a violent picture and we all know how dramatic our children can be! I can understand committing him if the mother seemed uninterested but she said she'd take him to a therapist the same day... It seems awful.

    Answer by leah_rai at 12:51 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • By the way in the article it also says that he said he wanted to die. But again I think that it could just be a child being dramatic... You've got to consult the parents OR you're never going to know the full story!

    Answer by leah_rai at 12:52 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • The school didn't know if the mom (or dad) was the cause of his action. The school has a duty to protect.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:12 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • For all the school knows, she could have been lying about the therapist to please them. They did what they legally had to do. I see nothing wrong with it and I'd be very concerned if my child said they wanted to die.

    Answer by Mrs.Duitsman at 1:19 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • i understand how the schools do not want to be sued for letting a sucide threat go... at the same time - why couldnt his mom just take him to the therapist?? --even if she 100% was lying about taking him - the school is no longer liable....seems like they did more damage than good. i am a teacher and have seen SCARY pics kids have drawn. we are also supposed to give it to the psych - most the time he comes back with --- it is jsut a scene from a video game.

    Answer by AmaliaD at 1:27 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • my child went to school got mad at someone said i want to die and i am going to cut off my fingers. when i found out i was freaking out. the counselors if she knew what it meant and she at 10 was not even sure. it was draw attention to herself. she was having a bad day and no i do not condone her doing it either. the school knows she has medical issues. but if she had been serious they would have put her on a hold. and checked to see if it was part of her medicine causing it. Suicide in kids is a serious matter. I would rather my kid be safe then to find out she hurt herself. but kids see and hear things to and they think my daughter picked it up on the bus or at school. But i tell you as a mom it frightened me.

    Answer by WildCat73 at 2:40 PM on Feb. 15, 2011