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  1. Long Reads

Reporters have been exploring the unintended consequences of the state’s mental health law

A Tampa Bay Times investigation.
 [Tara McCarty]
[Tara McCarty]
Published Dec. 22, 2019

Read the series installments below:

Florida’s flawed Baker Act rips thousands of kids from school.

Connor Lovejoy, pictured with his grandmother, Cathy Lovejoy, and Loki, a trained service dog. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times]

The Baker Act set out to improve care. Now it’s ensnaring more children.

Florida's Baker Act was written in 1971 by Maxine Baker, a 65-year-old grandmother and freshman legislator from Dade County. She's seen here in a 1965 photo. [Associated Press]

An autistic child melts down. An officer makes a decision. A family suffers the consequences.

Staci and Terry Plonsky, holding art from their autistic son, depicting the day A.J. taken by the school resource officer to a mental health facility. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times]

“My hands were tied. I couldn’t do anything about it.”

Ann Corzo and her son, Kristopher. [.]

You’re trapped. They’re cashing in.

Michael Jenkins with his wife, Jamie Jenkins, and their three children. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times]

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  8. Shane Sheil, 16, rides his bike to and from school every day.  He prides himself on his speed as well as being self-sufficient.   (MELISSA LYTTLE | Times) [LYTTLE, MELISSA  |  St. Petersburg Times]
  9. "I pray for hope. Sometimes, it is a cry for help," explains Martí Gonzalez, whose son Patrick was 2 months old when she found him unresponsive in his crib in May 2015. "Some days, I'm OK, and some days, I'm not." [PHOTOS BY JOHN PENDYGRAFT  |  Times]
  10. Florida's Baker Act was written in 1971 by Maxine Baker, a 65-year-old grandmother and a freshman Florida legislator from Miami-Dade County, seen here in a 1965 photo. [Associated Press]
  11. Sarah Henderson with her son, Braden, who was committed under the Baker Act after a joking remark at school. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT  |  Tampa Bay Times]
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