Seventeen year-old Andrew is filling out a job application for a Jamba Juice in Oakland, California. He’s making his way through the basics, filling out his name and contact information. However question five posed a challenge. It was a yes or no checkbox which read, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?”
Mental health advocates want the link between violence and people who are mentally ill to disappear.
After the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza, killed 20 children and six staff, lawmakers scrambled to respond to the public’s fear that schools aren’t safe enough. Some states and policymakers began proposing policy changes that addressed people who suffer from mental illness, because an investigation into the Lanza’s mental health history revealed that he had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and Sensory Integration Disorder (SID).
Seventeen-year-old Marco Pérez seems like an ordinary teenager. He wakes early each morning and rides his bicycle to Theodore Roosevelt High School. As a senior, he is applying to college. Yet he has a challenge unlike those of most other college-bound students. He is a “dreamer,” an undocumented immigrant student with dreams of legalizing his immigration status in the United States.