What would you do if you met an 11-year-old boy who cared so much about social justice that he drew a picture in class to speak out about racism? Praise him for his incredible advocacy? Commend him standing up for what's right and speaking out against injustice? Provide him with mentorship, education, and resources to start a career as an activist?
Well, that's not what the mental health system decided to do. Our mental health system decided that this young boy's social justice efforts are a symptom of a "mental illness." After drawing a picture of lynching and Black Lives Matter to show that racism is not dead, this young man was recommended for a mental health screening.
His teacher called a school counselor, who called his family and suggested that he have a mental health evaluation at a local crisis center. He missed most of a day of school on Friday and had to sign a safety contract promising not to attempt suicide.
We are appalled at the school's actions and we stand in solidarity with this incredible young activist. We commend his mother, Ms. Sade Green, for standing up to the school. This young man should be honored and recognized for his courage, and we hope that will happen very soon.