Lucinda Roy’s Blog
A Country in Denial–Why Mass Shootings Will Continue in the U.S.
We’re saying to families trying desperately to deal with severely mentally ill loved ones that they need to function as primary caregivers, law enforcement officers, security guards, nurses, emergency responders, advocates, therapists, translators, medical archives, and, in some cases, jailors. We’re telling them they need to take this on “voluntarily” when we know, in reality, it’s a requirement, and the consequences of their not doing so could be catastrophic.
Why We’re Unprepared to Meet the Challenge
There’s a perfect storm in the U.S.–an inability to admit how harmful it is to raise a “lockdown generation”; a gun lobby with the power to prevent even modest gun reform; a lack of focus on the needs of the young.
Our education system is premised on the belief that students are willing to abide by the rules we establish and that they will seek help when they need it. Yet there are times when those who are mentally ill are not equipped to make a rational choice about such things as medication or counseling. At moments like these, who is morally obliged to intervene? The teacher, the parent, another student, a counselor, law enforcement? And what are the legal ramifications of intervention? In the United States, the legal options in the case of students who exhibit signs of being deeply troubled are less plentiful than we imagine. So we play a game of Russian roulette in education and in mental health, shuffling too many troubled young people through the system, convincing ourselves that no student would be crazy enough to load a gun and point it at someone’s head (NRTRS 8).