Family Called Authorities to Help Teacher in ‘Mental Health Crisis’ after ‘Racist Aggressions’ – She Was Jailed Instead

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By Crescenzo Vellucci Jr.

The Vanguard Sacramento Bureau Chief

SACRAMENTO, CA – The Sacramento Chapter of the NAACP went public this week about the case of Kaylin Footman, a Paso Verde Elementary School teacher who the civil rights group charges “suffered a debilitating mental health crisis over many days, having been repeatedly exposed to racist aggressions by colleagues causing her to seek a mental health professional.”

The NAACP added Footman is a “beloved educator” and was jailed earlier this month after a “chain of events that is deeply disturbing in Sacramento city and county’s response to serious mental health needs,” noting Footman’s family is “decrying criminal charges levied against the woman from actions.”

Footman, as of late Tuesday, was in custody in lieu of a $20,000 bond at the Sacramento County Main Jail for allegedly making “criminal threats,” according to a report in the Sacramento Bee.

Kaylin’s mother said, in a statement issued by the NAACP of Sacramento, “I desperately tried to get her the services that she needed…she was switched from going to the hospital to going to a jail cell which is not helping her at all. I’m just pleading with you, please. Allow her to get the services she needs. She has never been arrested. She has never had any problems. She loves teaching and she’s never hurt anyone.”

According to the NAACP statement, the family called law enforcement for help, but “the horrific narrative reveals several, preventable misjudgments and underscores a significant reason why this county is in danger of federal receivership considering that approximately two-thirds of those who are inside our jails are in need of mental health treatment in a community-based mental health facility.”

The NAACP added, “Considering that her initial trigger was anti-Black racism and that the response to her has been through predominantly white law enforcement officers, she is likely repeatedly experiencing fear. Additionally, research shows that incarceration is linked to causing and exacerbating existing mental health disorders.”

The sheriff is refusing to transfer Footman to an “appropriate, community-based mental health facility for people with serious mental health issues,” explained the NAACP, which, along with other community groups, is “pleading” for the Natomas Unified School District and Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department to “immediately drop all charges against Footman and support her transfer to a community-based mental health facility so she can receive the medical attention she needs to get well.”

“Sheriff (Jim) Cooper should be ashamed of himself,” said Betty Williams, president of the Sacramento NAACP. “This is his responsibility.”

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Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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