PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s been more than a week since the deadly massacre at a Parkland, Florida high school, and authorities have learned more about the suspected shooter’s mental health history.
Authorities have indicated the teen suspect had a history of violence, and even harmed himself in a social media post.
His mother called for help, they say, but never had him committed.
“Everybody has a risk of violence,” said Dr. Avram Mack, a forensic child psychiatrist with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania.
He says minors can have a say in their care.
“In Pennsylvania, there are laws that make it that a 14-year-old, short of any gross violence, has rights to agree or disagree with an inpatient psychiatric admission,” Mack explained.
New Jersey is similar. Mack said the signs parents should watch for are “changes in school performance, changes in peers, actively using substances, outbursts in anger, and running away, or even aggression.”
He says if a child refuses care, most counties have a mobile crisis unit to help evaluate their mental state.