This week has been Mental Health Awareness Week, as I'm sure you know, and today is World Mental Health Day. This year's theme is Living with Schizophrenia, something we know a lot about.
This week was also the week Kelli Stapleton was sentenced to ten to twenty-two years in prison for her attempt to end her and her daughter's suffering. There are a lot of opinions about what Kelli did. A lot of them aren't helpful, because this isn't a cut and dry issue. This is a road flare on the side of the highway of the lives of parents of children like Issy; parents of children with severe autism or severe mental illness that comes with very real and very dangerous behavioral problems. If you've ever read Kelli's blog, you know how difficult Issy's behavioral issues are. All you need to do is read the last post Kelli wrote before the fateful day she lost all hope. And why did she lose hope? Because a team of professionals decided to back a teacher that was upset that the INDIVIDUAL education plan that was crafted by experts that had just had Issy in residential treatment might need to be tweaked to fit what SHE - a teacher who had never taught Issy before - thought was better. They told Kelli that Issy was not welcome to attend the public school in her home district -- at the school where Issy's dad was the Principal, mind you -- and they suggested Kelli consider homeschooling. Forget how they felt about Kelli; this is a direct violation of federal IDEA law.
I hope that teacher and the administration that backed her feels they have blood on their hands.