12.6 C
New York
Saturday, April 13, 2024

NAACP, family members speak out after Natomas teacher’s arrest: "Don’t criminalize my daughter for being ill"

SACRAMENTO — The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and family members are speaking out about the arrest of a Natomas second-grade teacher who was taken into custody during what they say was a mental health crisis.

“Sheriff [Jim] Cooper should be ashamed of himself,” said Betty Williams with the NAACP. “This is his responsibility.”

The NAACP stood alongside the family members of Kaylin Footman during a Monday press conference.

“My daughter needs to be placed in a mental health facility,” Footman’s mother, Tere Harris, said. “Don’t criminalize my daughter for being ill.”

Footman is a second-grade teacher at Paso Verde School in the Natomas Unified School District. She has spent nearly a week inside the Sacramento County Main Jail after an October 9 incident with school staff following what her mother describes as racist micro-aggression.

“After being pushed beyond her limit and being denied access to care, my daughter became delusional and irrational and sent inappropriate text messages,” Harris said.

Harris said that over the next few days, her daughter’s mania and aggression began to worsen and multiple family members became concerned.

Through multiple avenues including calling the suicide hotline and law enforcement, they say Footman finally agreed to get what she thought was care.

“They were not transparent about the fact that they were not taking her for medical attention we called for and we were led to believe she would receive,” Harris said. “But instead, they were arresting her for text messages sent in her psychotic state.”

Footman was charged with sending felony terrorist threats via text messages and resisting arrest.

Authorities said she assaulted a deputy last week. Sacramento County Sheriff Jim Cooper said the jail isn’t the best place to handle a mental health crisis but there are protocols in place.

“We’ve got to deal with what is in front of us, and what was in front of us was specific threats made about the school and about specific staff members so we have to take action to mitigate any violence that could occur,” said Amar Ghandi, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office.

“We are asking you guys to create many more 24/7 mental health intervention facilities throughout the city and county,” Harris said.

The sheriff’s office says it’s up to the courts to make that decision.

A representative for Natomas Unified says Footman remains employed.

Related Articles

Latest Articles