The Mason Declaration
The Mason Declaration
Why this petition matters
Hello, my name is Miguel Rodriguez. I am an alumni of Dozier-Libbey Medical High School (DLMHS), and “The Mason Declaration” is being organized as a response to the death of a student, my baby brother Mason, at Dozier-Libbey Medical High School due to mental health issues.
The following is the shorthand version of the background context. A more comprehensive and detailed explanation can be found immediately below the brief.
// Brief //
We need your help because my baby brother died to suicide and our high school didn’t have behavioral health counselors to help him. We didn’t have behavioral health counselors because our high school is underfunded, and the reason for that lies with the Antioch School Board and Antioch Unified School District. There is no transparency regarding where $64 Million dollars of Covid Relief money is going or has been spent, but we know that our high school is severely neglected and isn’t getting a fair amount. Signing this petition will help us force the school board and district into action so we can make a change in our high school and prevent future suicides.
Here’s what we need you to do:
- Sign this petition
- Share this petition
- Please, please take the time to explain to someone why we’re doing this.
Here’s what we’re going to get done:
- Get full-time, on-campus, behavioral health counselors established at Dozier-Libbey Medical High School
- Hold the Antioch Unified School District accountable
- Hold the Antioch School Board accountable
// Background Context //
Historically, DLMHS has been financially neglected and denied requests for more funding to provide resources for their students. This lack of funding is directly responsible for the lack of accessible mental health resources which, if they were present, could have helped prevent the death of my brother.
Despite numerous emails to the Antioch Unified School District (AUSD) and Antioch School Board, staff at DLMHS have received lackluster responses- if any at all. Multiple appeals for assistance were ignored, including numerous attempts to tell them “there is a student at risk, send help now.” DLMHS, instead of an on-site behavioral health counselor, was given 5 telehealth slots for the entire school.
After Mason’s death, the school district opted to pull 3 telehealth slots (not in-person counselors) from other campuses to provide online counseling- a total of 8 telehealth slots for over 750 students. The process to get a suffering student the help they need is needlessly complicated and incredibly inefficient- an inefficiency that took so long to act that it was too late to do anything for Mason. The follow up response of pulling 3 telehealth slots was pathetic and insulting to those of us affected by this death, so this petition is being made to address the source of these failures in the system and fix them, such that future students have something to help them stay alive in moments of crisis.
In order for our goal of behavioral health counselors at DLMHS to be achieved, the school district and board need to be pressured into action. By signing this petition, you’ll be helping us hold them accountable and be part of making a change that will help future students, siblings, sons and daughters, get the help they need before they permanently hurt themselves. You’ll be creating an environment for people to thrive and be safe and better educated, and most importantly you’ll be saving lives.
Anyone reading this can help by signing and sharing this petition. Tell everyone that we need to do something to protect our people from danger, from being a victim to illnesses that no one can see.
The best way to handle illness is to be prepared. Give your kids, siblings, friends, the people you care about, the tools and environment they need to keep themselves alive. The cycle of mental health being neglected ends here, with us, making a greater world where people continue to live.
Live greatly. Be greater.