Friday, September 20, 2013

NYT Editorial on Ethan Saylor

Editorial: A Chance to Learn From a Senseless Death
The Editorial Board, New York Times - September 18, 2013

This is a good editorial about an encouraging development in the Ethan Saylor case. I have two things to add:

1. The Editorial Board says that the problem was the security guards' failure "to distinguish between mental illness and mental disability" … as if it would be okay to act as they did if Ethan had Schizophrenia instead of Down Syndrome. The problem was their failure to distinguish between disability and willful criminality. As I've said before, I also suspect it was a failure to listen to people on the scene with relevant information, but we may not know enough yet to claim this as fact.

2. The other thing is that I'd like to know whether the Governor's commission will have substantial … hopefully majority … representation of people with various disabilities. At minimum, there should be people on the commission with physical, cognitive, mental, and sensory disabilities. And they should be people who know how to serve effectively on a commission, not just people chosen to occupy a chair and make the commission look diverse.

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