Upstate lawmaker looking into new law to help schools call for m - FOX Carolina 21

Upstate lawmaker looking into new law to help schools call for mental health evaluations in SC

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Sen. Karl Allen (FOX Carolina) Sen. Karl Allen (FOX Carolina)

People reported erratic behavior, threatening posts and even his school reportedly wouldn't let Florida school shooting suspect, Nikolas Cruz, on campus with a backpack.

"There were signals that administrators saw regarding this individual and if we see those same things in South Carolina, we want to act on it and give the laws to the citizens so that they are able to act on it as well," said State Senator Karl Allen.

In the wake of what happened in Parkland, FL, Sen. Allen said he wants South Carolina school administrators to be able to act when they spot potential danger.

"What I'm hoping is that we will be able to develop a law that will allow school administrators and allow professionals to petition the circuit court or family court, based upon the age of the individual to allow them to be able to do an evaluation when those signals are there, not just ignore the signal... That would be cases where there are Facebook threats, there would be cases where there are verbal, written threats, things of that nature," said Sen. Allen. 

Sen. Allen said he wants to broaden the scope of the current law when it comes to who can order a mental health evaluation.

"A person might now go to Probate Court and say this person is a danger to themselves and to society. We want to be able to allow a school administrator who has knowledge of special issues with a child to petition upon good cause showing the court be able to order an evaluation of an individual... As the law stands now there is some question as to what the school district can do based on medical privacy rights and other things," said Senator Allen. 

He said this is a proactive step to prevent another community from grieving.

"We need to not sit back and wait until something like this happens in South Carolina but looking at how we may be able to prevent it with legislation and with changing the minds of citizens in South Carolina," said Sen. Allen. 

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