A horrific crime occurred in my city, one of many to be honest. The young man who committed this crime got more in-depth coverage than others, but media bias and the continuing racist narrative that is carried through that bias, will have to be addressed in another writing.
This article examines closely the services this young man received when he was legally a juvenile. It documents the efforts his teachers and guidance counselors made to intervene in a growing mental illness. The resources his family had access to and the supervision the public service of public education afforded him. And once he turned 18, the age upon which you are granted the privileged title of adult, social services ended. Abruptly, suddenly, without pathways to continue care, without caring professionals to intervene at crisis points. His actions became simply a criminal file, a folder that when looked at as a whole documented a downward spiral. But the criminal justice system is not meant to serve as a mechanism for social care. There are no longer mechanisms for the public to care for its more vulnerable and at risk members, and not simply a threat to themselves but as is shown here, a threat to the public.
Public schools are the last remaining institution that serves the public, and in so has become the learning centers, health centers, mental health services, job training, and civic engagement hubs for the public – until you turn 18.