San Francisco sues schools, cites high number of suicidal students

By: | February 12, 2021

The number of suicidal children in San Francisco has hit a record high and health experts say it is clear that keeping public schools closed “is catalyzing a mental health crisis among school-aged children,” according to a lawsuit the city filed to push its school district to reopen classrooms.

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera announced he was taking the dramatic step of suing the city’s own school district, which has kept its classrooms closed nearly a year. In the motion filed last week in San Francisco Superior Court, Herrera included alarming testimony from hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area, doctors and parents on the emotional and mental harms of extended distance learning.

One mother, Allison Arieff, said she had recently found her 15-year-old daughter “curled up in a fetal position, crying, next to her laptop at 11 a.m.” Arieff said her daughter often cries in the middle of the day out of frustration and “is losing faith not just in SFUSD but in the world.”

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