A 6-year-old special needs girl in Florida was involuntarily committed to a mental health facility without her mother’s consent after allegedly throwing a temper tantrum at school.
A mental health counselor was called to the Love Grove Elementary School in Jacksonville on Feb. 4, 2020, after the girl, Nadia King, was “destroying school property, attacking staff, out of control, and running out of school,” according to NBC.
The counselor evaluated Nadia and determined that she needed to be committed under the Florida mental Health Act of 1971, which is commonly known as the Baker Act.
The Baker Act gives social workers in Florida the power to initiate involuntary holds on children as young as 2 without their parents’ permission.
Police were also called to take Nadia to the facility and body-camera footage shows the youngster calmly walking out of the school.
One of the officers is heard in the footage telling Nadia, “You’re not no bad person” before adding that she has been “acting very pleasant.”
Her mother, Martina Falk, said she was not told about the incident until after Nadia was committed.
“I got a call saying that she is so uncontrollable that they had to Baker Act her,” Falk told News4Jax.
Falk broke down in tears at a news conference on Thursday, Feb. 13, as she explained that her daughter has ADHD and a mood disorder, which has made it difficult for her to communicate what happened to her.
“She can only tell you bits and pieces. ‘Mommy, they locked the door. They wouldn’t let me out. Mommy, the gave me a shot,'” Falk said.
Nadia was also allegedly given anti-psychotic medications at the facility where she was taken without her mother’s consent or permission.
Tracy Pierce with Duval County Public Schools said that the decision to have Nadia committed under the Baker Act did not come from school district personnel or police.
The counselor made that decision after evaluating the girl.
“The officers in the video were not present during the events, which motivated the school to call Child Guidance. The police officers were also not present when Child Guidance was intervening with the student,” Pierce said. “The student was calm when she left the school, but at that point, child Guidance had already made the decision to Baker Act based on their intervention with the student.”
Falk is now demanding answers from officials at the school and the mental health facility where the girl was committed.