Monday, December 24, 2012


Ever since the unimaginable tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, I have been reeling. First, those babies. Oh my goodness. As a teacher (and future teacher in the public schools), I cannot imagine. I love my babies with everything, and I would protect them. Those brave teachers and sweet babies...

Second, the unconfirmed link and media speculation to the autism connection. Some media outlets went as far as to blame the tragedy on the killer's reported autism diagnosis.

Autism does not lead to violence. It's been proven again and again, autistic individuals are more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators.

So I posted, "Autism is not a mental illness."

But here's the deal. While I did not intend to make the link (after all, our family is knee-deep in mental health diagnoses, JT has bipolar for example), it makes it sound like I'm linking all people with mental health issues to violence.

According to NIMH, 26.2 percent of Americans suffer with some sort of mental illness.

26.2 percent.

It is SO wrong to demonize in ANY way those with mental illness. 99.99 percent of them would never hurt anyone.

And as far as we know, the killer didn't have any diagnosis.

I know it wasn't the autism.

I don't know what it was. Why it happened.

But it's not fair to lay it on mental illness in general, when we have no idea what it was. It leaves the millions upon millions of Americans struggling with mental illness with blame they don't deserve.

We have to be careful. Just because it wasn't autism, doesn't mean we should divert the blame elsewhere just to divert it.

It was just evil. Plain and simple.

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