As a retired educator, the article “A day in the life of SPD’s mental health crisis team” caught my eye [Aug. 7, A1].
One particular issue was the dispatch of a team to deal with a man with mental health problems. He was detained after yelling and making verbal threats at school children who had been teasing him.
While his actions may have been threatening, I don’t excuse the children for being children, either. Apparently, they were savvy enough to pick a target for their teasing, and bullying, and felt entitled to proceed.
With Seattle facing a homeless and mental health crisis, resulting in 11,000 to 14,000 emergency calls last year for mental and behavioral crises alone, parents and schools bear some responsibility for the behavior of these children who think it’s OK to tease.
Teasing, belittling and bullying are not acceptable in any form, against anyone, no matter how different or the object of society’s, or anyone’s, “disdain.”
I see the need to revisit the issue of being a bully, and being bullied in the home and school, because that, too, can be considered a mental health problem in the making.