He drew a zombie and stick figures.
How do you know that's all he did? Even the mother has said the drawing was "violent" and he also said, or wrote, something about wanting to be dead. And the statements released by both the school and the Department of Mental Health refer to the child's suicidal thoughts/intentions as the basis for their actions. That may have been based on much more than a single statement by this child. He may have elaborated on a specific method of suicide, and given them reason to believe that the threat required urgent action. Maybe he threatened to harm himself while in the school. Maybe he said he had access to a gun, or pills, in the home. Maybe he said something about his home life, or his mother, as a reason he wanted to die.
My problem with this story is that we have only the mother's version of events. For reasons of confidentiality, neither the school, nor the mobile psychiatric unit, nor the hospital, can comment on this case. So, we really don't know what this child said or did that prompted their actions--other than that suicidal thoughts/threats were involved. If we knew the whole story, we might not think they overreacted.
I don't think it matters whether he was 6 or 8 or 16 or 18.
I think that if he is 8, and not 6, which I believe to be the case, it makes a big difference in his ability to articulate his feelings, and his intentions, and his understanding of death, as well as his ability to carry out a plan. And the mobile psychiatric unit, who interviewed him and made the decision about the 72 hour hold, would have taken those things into account.
I'm glad she talked to the media. I had no idea this kind of thing could happen and I'll bet most parents don't either.
Revealing her child's identity, as well as his photos and videos of him, to the media, and talking about his history of emotional problems and therapy, which this mother did, is a violation of his privacy and it can subject him to ridicule from other children for being "crazy"--just look at the title of your thread about being taken to the "funny farm". It's not really a laughing matter. This child does appear to have emotional problems, even according to the mother. What really is her point in going public with them? Is she really thinking about her child's welfare?
Parents should be aware that children can be held for psychiatric evaluation, even without the parent's consent. But, that's not even what this woman is complaining about. She's saying the school shouldn't have done anything except call her. Without knowing the whole story, including what the school and the mobile psychiatric unit actually reacted to with this child, we have no idea whether they overreacted, and why they felt they could not leave the situation entirely in the mother's hands. The mother is obviously trying to create the impression that the school overreacted, but the mother could also be in denial, or could be neglecting the child's emotional problems by not having him currently in therapy.
Given that we have only the mother's version of what transpired, and her comments have reason to be self-serving, and the other parties are not free to respond to justify their actions, I don't feel we can say that either the school or the mobile psychiatric unit overreacted. We just don't know what actually went on, and we don't know the background of this case either.