The eJournal is sponsored by the Syracuse University College of Law Disability Law and Policy (DLP) Program of the Syracuse University Center on Human Policy, Law, and Disability Studies (CHPLDS). The DLP Program sponsors a range of law school academic programs and co-curricular activities, including the first joint degree program in law and disability studies. The Program is part of the CHPLDS which is the first such university-wide network of academic programs, centers, student organizations, and affiliated faculty whose research, teaching, and advocacy promotes the rights of people with disabilities locally, nationally, and globally.

Table of Contents

Blaming Mothers: A Disability Perspective

Ruth Colker, Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law

Heller's Scapegoats

Katie Rose Guest Pryal, Independent

Sponsored by Syracuse University Disability Law & Policy (DLP) Program

"Blaming Mothers: A Disability Perspective" Free Download
Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No. 295

RUTH COLKER, Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law

Blaming mothers is a longstanding cultural tradition in the United States. This article traces how mothers are often blamed by school district personnel when their children with disabilities face educational challenges. Using hearing officer decisions in special education cases, this article offers specific examples of how the "blame the mother" phenomenon occurs. Mothers are either too aggressive or too passive while school districts fail to offer children with disabilities an appropriate education.

"Heller's Scapegoats" Free Download
North Carolina Law Review, Vol. 93, 2015


In the United States, a psychiatric diagnosis, or involuntary civil commitment to a psychiatric ward — which is considered treatment in the medical context — almost always leads to quasi- criminalization in the legal context. After such diagnosis or treatment, you are rendered, automatically and permanently, a member of one of our nation’s most vulnerable populations and stripped of rights based on your status. In no area is the U.S. populace in greater agreement over this stripping of rights than in the areas of gun control and civil commitment, especially in our apparently new “era of spree-killings.? When it comes to stripping gun rights and involuntarily treating people with psychiatric disabilities (“PPDs?), politicians and pundits on the left and the right are eerily aligned. This Article provides an answer as to why: PPDs are our society’s scapegoats, the tool we use to externalize our fear of the unpredictable violence of what appears to be the rise of spree-killings. Involuntary civil commitment and gun control work together to scapegoat PPDs: often the response to an act of otherwise unexplainable violence is for pundits and politicians on the left and the right to discuss ways to involuntarily commit PPDs and ways to prevent PPDs from getting their hands on guns.


About this eJournal

Sponsored by: Syracuse University Disability Law & Policy (DLP) Program.

This eJournal distributes working and accepted paper abstracts which address issues of domestic, comparative, and international disability law and policy and disability studies, including  issues related to mental health and mental disability law and policy. The eJournal addresses legal issues, legislation, policy and a critical examination of disability as part of diversity in the US and in other societies throughout the world.

Editor: Arlene S. Kanter, Syracuse University


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