JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (CN) – A woman says the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind violated state law by failing to inform her that it was sending her 16-year-old granddaughter to a hospital for evaluation after seeing scratches on her arms. Plaintiff S.B. claims the school wanted to boot the girl due to an alleged “danger and disruption,” after she drew a pentagram on her hand and told staff that she was “waiting to sacrifice herself,” and was caught toting a shard of a broken mirror she said represented her soul.
The grandmother says that under Florida’s Baker Act the school had to contact to get consent for a voluntary evaluation rather than resorting to involuntary measures.
She says FSDB campus police took her granddaughter, who is hearing and speech impaired, to a Jacksonville Mental Health Resource Center for “mental and psychiatric needs that are not available at FSDB,” after several scratches were noticed on the girl’s arms but that the school did not attempt to contact her, though she holds legal guardianship.
Instead, the girl was “wrongfully confined in a locked facility overnight against her will,” which caused her “emotional trauma and injury,” according to the complaint.
The grandmother adds that when she was asked about the scratches, she told the school she had already taken the teen to a dermatologist who prescribed a lotion to treat the dry skin condition.
The grandmother claims in St. Johns County Court that she had warned FSDB staff that “the more attention that has been paid to the scratches, the more she scratches.” According to FSDB reports, at one time the girl had up to 100 scratch marks on her arms.
The grandmother says that when FSDB devised its plan to kick out her granddaughter, it altered the terms under which the girl could attend, demanding all prior evaluations be handed over from private family doctors. She says when she told the school that even the professionals who performed them weren’t willing to breach that confidentiality, the school deemed her granddaughter ineligible to remain a student. The grandmother is represented by Doris Raskin.