JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Parents who have had their children committed to a mental health facility under Florida's Baker Act are becoming very disenchanted with the system.
"I felt hopeless, frustrated and angry," Kasota Robertson said.
Monday, just before noon, his daughter, 11-year-old Brianna, came home jumping with joy and not a moment too soon.
"When they had told me I can't go home I had dropped to my knees crying," Brianna said.
Last Wednesday, while in school, she threatened to harm herself.
"Cause I was feeling pretty down that day," she said.
Her words drew the attention of school counselors and law enforcement. Before she knew it she was committed to a mental health facility under Florida's Baker Act.
The family would discover hours after she was in the Mental Health Resource Center crisis stabilization unit.
"The fact that there was no communication between the school to us between that time is pretty sad," Robertson said.
The law reads the patient can be kept up to three days or 72 hours for evaluation. Brianna she was there for five days.
"They were holding her without our consent because after the 72 hours you have to be held by your own consent.
The Baker Act requires the health care provider to file a "petition for involuntary placement' if there is a need to keep the patient beyond 72 hours, Brianna's family said in her case there was no petition.
"I feel the system failed me and my family," Robertson said.
Amanda Thoele is an attorney who has filed suit against a number of mental health facilities for not following the Baker Act to the letter of the law.
She said complaints like the one involving Brianna are not unusual.
"It is pretty common unfortunately," she said, "a lot of kids are being Baker Acted."
The motive can be subjective and it can be valid, but she said when it comes to keeping a child for more than 72 hours it becomes suspect.
"I have found that the mental health facilities are making money off of it," she said.
Thoele said there's a proposal to amend the Baker Act to help parents.
"It requires that if the child is under 14 years of age parents be contacted immediately," she said.
Right now parents are notified after the child has been committed and the change would make notification a priority before it happens.
Brianna is home and promised her parents that she will never make what her family believes was an idle threat again.
"I am happy to be home," Brianna said.
Brianna was held at one of the Mental Health Resource Center facilities.
CEO Robert Sommers said confidentially laws prevent him from discussing specifics.
He could only speak in general terms.
"We're sensitive to families and do not keep children longer than necessary," Sommers said. "we follow protocol."
Amanda Thoele said If parents want the Baker Act amendment to become law and give them a voice from the beginning, they need to contact their lawmakers now.
During the 2015-2016 school year 1476 Duval County students were committed under the Baker Act -- that's more than the previous year.