The report highlighted in this New York Times article is damning evidence of the chaos and mismanagement of at least one psychiatrict ward at a municipally run hospital. Although the conditions are more stark, it reminds me of the reason I became a teacher in the first place. It reminds me of how understaffed, overwhelmed and undertrained many school administrators and teachers feel in our least-served communities.
The hospital is glad to report that wait time in the psychiatric emergency room is down from 27 hours to 8. That's like saying that 10 parents attended, or even knew about, the last parent meeting instead of 5. Attendance doubled!
Have no doubts--parents care about their children. Schools need to take responsibility for informing and engaging them in appropriate ways.
The report cites a pair of hospital police's brief interaction with a dying patient in the emergency room waiting room. It may not be obvious, but the observation in the report is tragically similar to a lack of consistency among adults at our schools.