School sends girl to mental hospital
Mother and sister did not know she had been sent
JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Lisa Wilson says her sister, Alishia Montelongo, was admitted to the Mental Health Resource Center North on Monday after officials at Wolfson High School say she threatened suicide. A mental health care professional was called, who decided that Montelongo should be hospitalized.
Wilson says she and her mother were never notified and didn't find out until they showed up in the front office looking for her. They approached News4Jax wanting her story told.
According to Wilson, no one at the school has told them exactly what happened to Montelongo, but the family has learned the teen would be held through Friday.
Wilson says she's heartbroken to see her sister in a mental health resource facility, but says it's not entirely a surprise.
"I've seen her come home, she's crying. I've talked to her. I try to say ignore them, just walk away but that's easy for me to say. But that's hard. That's hard for her to do," Wilson said.
Wilson says Montelongo has been bullied at school for months, so much so that her family filed a formal complaint against the girl they claim hurt her while at school.
That complaint is now in the hands of the State Attorney's Office, but Wilson says the Duval County School District hasn't done anything to stop the bullying.
"It's funny how she leaves here happy and then she comes home like a different person. We try and we try with the school, and if they don't take any preventive measures to help her, then we see where she's at right now," Wilson said.
Monday, Wilson says she and her mother went to the school to pick Montelongo up and when she didn't come to the car, they asked a school resource officer if she knew anything.
"She said they took her to the mental facility today, because she threatened to commit suicide. I was like, I was stunned. I was like how could they take her to the mental facility. No one called us," exclaimed Wilson.
According to the Duval County School District, while school officials don't need permission to admit a child to the mental health facility they should let the parents know.
On Thursday, the family told News4Jax that the school called and set up a meeting with the mother on March 23.
Wilson and her mother wrote a letter to the Duval County school board telling them about the situation and a school board member wrote back saying;
"My heart goes out to you and your daughter. I will forward your e-mail to the Superintendent for a more detailed explanation and a review of our procedures. I can understand as a parent, anytime your child leaves campus without your knowledge, you would want to know and especially in a situation like this one."
There was a hearing between scheduled between Montelongo's family and the girl they claim has been bullying her on Feb. 12. It was moved.
According to the State Attorney's Office, some hearings like this haven't been rescheduled yet due to the move into the new building.
The school district didn't say anything about what their plans are when it comes to the bullying claims and they weren't able to say anything specific about this case but did send a statement saying:
"Once a report of bullying is made to school administration, the school will conduct an investigation. If the allegations meet the criteria for bullying, then the students engaged will be disciplined according to the student code of conduct."
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