The mother of a 6-year-old Florida student, Nadia King, with special needs has been left outraged after learning school officials sent her child to a mental health facility after having a series of uncontrollable outbursts.
An attorney for the family said the little girl was allegedly given antipsychotic medications at the center, without the permission of her mother, Martina Falk. The child was also kept on lockdown at the facility for 48 hours.
A Florida family seeks answers after a 6-year-old girl with special needs was removed from school & taken by police to a behavioral facility, kept from her mother for nearly 2 days.
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) February 15, 2020
Now her mother is speaking out about the incident.
Falk recalled the conversation she had with officials from Love Grove Elementary School in Jacksonville about her daughter, Nadia, who they claimed was so out of control that she had to be sent to a mental health institution. Their decision was based on the recommendation of licensed health care professionals, ABC News reports.
A mental health counselor was called to the school to evaluate Nadia who had been diagnosed with ADHA and a mood disorder. The counselor determined that she needed to be committed under the Florida Mental Health Act of 1971, commonly known as the Baker Act.
The law gives social workers in Florida the power to have children as young as two committed without the need for parental permission.
“I was alerted of an incident after she was Baker Acted,” Falk said in an interview with Good Morning America.
She was reportedly told by officials: “‘There’s nothing else we could do. Your daughter is completely out of control, and we were not able to de-escalate the situation.'”
Nadia was curbed for allegedly destroying school property and attacking staff, according to the police incident report.
“When a student’s behavior presents a risk of self-harm or harm to others, the school district’s procedure is to call Child Guidance, our crisis response provider,” Duval County Public Schools said in a statement to ABC News.
“She can only tell you bits and pieces. ‘Mommy, they locked the door. They wouldn’t let me out. Mommy, they gave me a shot,'” Falk said, noting how she felt “helpless” after learning her daughter was taken to a mental health institution without her permission.
“Heartbroken. I felt anger. Disappointment. But I think the biggest emotion, I felt, was helpless,” Falk told GMA. “Because I know that I’ve done everything I could possibly do to help my daughter at this school.”
Falk said her child was enrolled in this particular school because it “specifically trained staff for special needs children that were similar to my daughter.”