I just read “Crazy Maker.” [News, Nov. 25, City Weekly]. Are you kidding me? This is an outrage and an all-too-real scenario for many people trying to turn their lives around. What is wrong with the district attorney in Salt Lake County? Common sense didn’t come with the title? No one expects these guys or any of the general public to have expertise in mental illness, but how about human compassion?
This is why my mother fought for years to keep special needs students in the public schools. She taught children and young adults with all kinds of disabilities: hearing impaired, learning disabled, abused, smart kids “lost in the cracks,” kids from broken homes, and kids with health issues such as Down syndrome and multiple sclerosis. She believed we must stay an integrated society to breed compassion. If schoolchildren experience having others around them who aren’t like them, they see how lucky they are and develop compassion toward those less fortunate.
Wasn’t it scarcely two years a young man was tasered to death because police officers didn’t understand he was having an episode for which his wife had called 911 to get help? Talk about lack of training. Lack of understanding. Lack of judgment because we can’t deal with adversity—even when that is our job?
I think what happened here is a case of harassment. People fear and loathe what they don’t understand. In fact, we are taught to fear/loathe difference. What we should fear is indifference. So, this bus driver in his limited capacity didn’t like Mark Yowell because he is different and decided to bully and cause drama. Isn’t bullying, by definition, singling out and harassing individuals whom for unknown reasons the harasser is prejudiced against? Isn’t bullying the crime? What a sickening tale you have told here.
If you think about it, Yowell’s schizophrenia is irrelevant, three months in jail for a $2 crime is against the constitutional amendments for a fair and speedy trial (the Sixth Amendment) and due process (the 14th Amendment).