New York Bill Requires Psychological Screening for Schoolchildren

New York Bill Requires Psychological Screening for Schoolchildren

We just signed the petition “State Rep. Margaret Markey: Stop Mandatory Psychological Screening of our Children” on Change.org. It’s important. Will you sign it too? Here’s the link:

https://www.change.org/petitions/state-rep-margaret-markey-stop-mandatory-psychological-screening-of-our-children

This petition seeks to gain your help to stop the passing of Bill A8186-2013 that would require all children attending public schools in New York to go through psychological screening as part of their required health certificate. The specific wording from the Bill is:

“EACH SUCH CERTIFICATE SHALL ALSO STATE THAT A PSYCHOLOGICAL EXAMINATION WAS PERFORMED AND THAT THE CHILD IS MENTALLY FIT TO PERMIT ATTENDANCE AT SCHOOL.”

You can find the bill here for more information: http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/A8186-2013

As of January 8th this bill has been referred to the Committee on Education for review. We need to let the New York Assemblywoman supporting this [Margaret Markey] know that we don’t agree with this Bill which is an invasion of the privacy of our children. We do not need our children to be given a screening potentially leading to a lifetime of fraudulent psychiatric labels and harmful psychotropic drugs.

In 2003 a report on “mental health care” presented to the federal government recommended that all 52 million American schoolchildren be screened for “mental illness,” claiming—without a shred of scientific evidence—that “early detection, assessment, and links with treatment” could “prevent mental health problems from worsening.” Already implemented in many states, screening and “intervention” is to be provided through primary health care facilities, schools, juvenile justice and child welfare—to anyone aged between 3 and 21. Millions of taxpayer dollars have already been allocated to this, which means that America’s already burgeoning numbers of children being prescribed potentially lethal psychiatric drugs could treble within a few years to 30 million.

Ten million American children are already prescribed drugs that can kill them or predispose them to later illicit drug abuse, violence or suicide.

Screening Doesn’t Prevent Suicide; Drugs Increase It!

Parents need to know that unlike medical diseases there is no x-ray, blood or other physical test to determine if a child has a “mental disorder;” that mental health screening is based on subjective questions not medical science; that parents must actively sign an informed consent form to allow any such screening; and that any informed consent form must contain the above information.

Government funding should never be used for mental health-screening programs and should be allocated, instead, to better educational facilities, teachers and tutoring to improve the literacy and educational standards of students.

Click here for more information about mental health screening.

Common Core Controversy Continued

Common Core Controversy Continued

Opposition to the Common Core State Standards is growing

Four states — Texas, Virginia, Alaska, and Nebraska — have not adopted the Common Core State Standards for public school curricula and testing. Minnesota chose to adopt only the English standards and declined the Mathematics standards.

Nine states which had previously adopted the Standards — Missouri, Kansas, Michigan, Georgia, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Alabama, South Carolina, Utah — are having second thoughts about it in one form or another. For example, in Missouri:

HB 616 “Prohibits the State Board of Education from adopting and implementing the standards for public schools developed by the Common Core Standards Initiative” was introduced by Representative Kurt Bahr (R-102) although it did not come to a vote during the legislative session just ended.
SB 210 “Requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to hold public meetings in each congressional district on the Common Core State Standards” was introduced by Senator John Lamping (R-24) although it did not come to a final vote during the legislative session just ended.

In May, the Texas House of Representatives voted 140-2 to pass language prohibiting Texas from participating in the standards. Texas, however, has never adopted the standards and likely will not.

One flaw of Common Core seems to be around the assessment tests, and the maxim that “what gets tested gets taught.”

Critics also say that the whole Common Core effort is a backdoor way of establishing a national school curriculum, taking educational decisions away from the states. Amendment X to the Constitution of the United States, states that, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” This is taken to mean, in this context, that a national educational curriculum mandate is in violation of the Constitution. Of course, proponents of Common Core point out that these Standards are developed and run by the states, not by the federal government. On the other hand, opponents of Common Core consider it as an end-run around having a federally mandated curriculum; in other words, while it is not officially a federal mandate, there are most certainly federal incentives (read “federal dollars”) for those states who implement it.

Without going any further into the pros and cons of the Common Core Standards themselves, we do want to watch out, however, for the first step down a fast slide toward the federal government telling teachers what should go on in their classrooms, and the conversion of schools and classrooms into the mental health clinics that the White House seems to desperately desire.

The President’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget includes $205 million for programs to help identify children’s mental health concerns, improve access to mental health services and “support safer school environments,” including $55 million for Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education) to provide Mental Health “First Aid” training in schools and communities and to help school districts and their communities work together to ensure that students with mental health issues are referred to the services they need; $50 million to train 5,000 new mental health professionals to serve students and young adults, including social workers, counselors, psychologists, and other mental health professionals; and $25 million for Healthy Transitions, a new competitive grant to help support transitioning youth (ages 16-25) and their families access and navigate behavioral health treatment systems.

The federal government is even now working out how existing group health plans that offer mental health services must cover them at parity under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. In addition, the Affordable Care Act requires all new small group and individual plans to cover mental health.

For more information about the dangers of mandated mental health insurance coverage, download and read the CCHR report “The Vital Case Against Mandated Mental Health Parity.”

For more information about harmful psychiatric influences in education, download the CCHR report “Harming Youth — Psychiatry Destroys Young Minds — Report and recommendations on harmful mental health  assessments, evaluations, and programs within our schools.”


As a result of psychiatric and psychological intervention in schools, harmful behaviorist programs and psychotropic (mind-altering) drugs now decimate our schools. These programs have trampled on the rights and roles of parents and have provided society with rising crime, drug abuse and suicide rates.

Contact your local, state and federal representatives and let them know what you think about turning our schools into mental health clinics and turning our children into mental health patients.

Forward this newsletter to your family, friends and associates and recommend that they subscribe.

Common Core Controversy

Common Core Controversy

The Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) is a set of educational standards for each grade level (K-12) that are intended to provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so that teachers and parents know what they need to do to help their students and children. There are currently only standards for Math and English, and they incorporate both content and skills standards.

The official authors, publishers and copyright holders of the Common Core State Standards are the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

Since its inception in 2008, forty-five states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity have adopted the Common Core State Standards.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro, with the approval of the State Board of Education, signed a Memorandum of Agreement in 2009 permitting Missouri to work with other states on the development of the Common Core State Standards for English language arts and mathematics. The Missouri State Board of Education (not the Missouri legislature) adopted the Common Core State Standards on June 15, 2010 with full implementation expected during the school year 2014-15.

There will be a new set of assessment tests aligned with the Common Core Standards. Because the tests are computer-based, schools will need adequate computer technology and bandwidth available to conduct the assessments.

Both ACT and the SAT have announced that these tests will become aligned with the Common Core State Standards.

Missouri has allied itself with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to develop the Common Core assessment tests for Math and English, which will replace the current Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) tests for these subject areas.

There are a number of groups opposing this initiative for a variety of reasons, including ParentalRights.org, MissouriEducationWatchdog.com, MOAgainstCommonCore.webs.com, The American Principles Project, Concerned Women of America, National Coalition of Organized Women, UtahnsAgainstCommonCore.com, and PioneerInstitute.org.

While CCHR does not particularly endorse nor oppose CCSSI, there may be ramifications in the mental health field about which you may wish to know.

The main objection voiced that might relate to CCHR interests is that these standards raise the prospect of privacy violations and data mining of private student information. The fear is that this data could include such items as family income, religion, family voting history, mental health screenings, and disciplinary actions. (In fact, current data reporting already includes disciplinary actions.)

Currently the Missouri Department of Education collects 119 data points for each student. These are a combination of requirements from Missouri state law, Missouri state Department of Education, court rulings, federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, federal Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act, and federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

While the Common Core Standards officially do not contain data collection or reporting requirements, the means of assessing students and the data that results from those assessments are up to the discretion of each state. There is also a separate data collection effort called the Common Core of Data which is a program of the U.S. Department of Education, although this ostensibly uses aggregate statistics only and not individually identifiable information.

A less well-known, hard to find and disturbing bit of information comes from the CCSSI co-author Council of Chief State School Officers web site, which lists one of its prime principles as “Continued Commitment to Disaggregation,” referring to making the data collection and reporting systems provide more data that is tied to individuals rather than aggregated solely as statistics.

In a 2009 interview with Charlie Rose, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan advocated having healthcare clinics associated with schools. He also indicated that schools should be the center of community life and be open 7 days a week, 12 hours a day, 12 months a year. When not operating strictly as a school, they should be partnered with community service organizations to operate the facilities and hold various programs.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a Fact Sheet January 19, 2012 called “Unlocking the Power of Education Data for All Americans,” announcing a number of public and private data collection and reporting initiatives.

It is certainly no secret that the White House strongly supports mental health efforts in schools. Quoting from the White House blog:

“The budget supports initiatives to help teachers and other adults identify early signs of mental health problems and refer young people to services they may need, and to advance new state-based strategies to prevent young people ages 16 to 25 with mental health or substance abuse problems from falling through the cracks when they leave home. The budget will help 8,000 schools implement evidence-based behavioral practices to improve school climate and behavioral outcomes for all students.”

We’re not particularly prone to cry “where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” having stirred up enough fireless smoke ourselves. All we’re really saying here is, there might be something to watch about all this — dig a little deeper when the news media says how wonderful some new program is, especially if it involves an area already infiltrated by the psychiatric industry such as education.

For more information about harmful psychiatric influences in education, download the CCHR reportHarming Youth — Psychiatry Destroys Young Minds — Report and recommendations on harmful mental health assessments, evaluations, and programs within our schools.”

ADHD Drugs Don’t Boost Kids’ Grades

ADHD Drugs Don’t Boost Kids’ Grades

Studies of Children With Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Find Little Change

New studies of children taking psychiatric drugs find that there is little evidence that the drugs actually improve academic outcomes.

A growing body of research finds that in the long run, achievement scores, grade-point averages or the likelihood of repeating a grade generally aren’t any different in kids diagnosed with symptoms called ADHD who take psychiatric drugs compared with those who don’t take such drugs.

A June, 2013 study looked at ADHD drug usage and educational outcomes of nearly 4,000 students in Quebec over an average of 11 years and found that boys who took ADHD drugs actually performed worse in school than those with a similar number of symptoms who didn’t. Girls taking the medicine reported more emotional problems, according to a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The results “suggest that expanding medication use can have negative consequences given the average way these drugs are used in the community.”

The reason this issue was studied by an economics research think tank is because a policy change in the province of Quebec, Canada greatly expanded insurance coverage for prescription medications; the change was associated with a sharp increase in the use of Ritalin relative to the rest of Canada.

If you agree that alternatives like good nutrition, effective non-psychiatric medical diagnosis and treatment, and teaching children how to read and study are preferable to harmful and addictive psychiatric drugs, clap your hands — and contact your local, state and federal representatives to tell them what you think. Ask them to stop funding psychiatric drugs for children.

Forward this newsletter to your family, friends and associates and suggest that they subscribe.

Petition to Release Adam Lanza Toxicology Reports

A few weeks ago, AbleChild, a parents’ group (www.ablechild.org) started a petition requesting that the Newtown Selectwoman and Connecticut lawmakers take the necessary steps to ensure that the complete autopsy/toxicology results of alleged Sandy Hook shooter, Adam Lanza, be released to the public. This is important because toxicology tests would determine whether Lanza was yet another school shooter under the influence of, or in withdrawal from, psychiatric drugs, documented to cause violent behavior.

In just a few weeks, there are already 2,200 signatures on this petition but in order to get this to occur, they need more signatures. So please sign it if not already done and forward it to your friends and associates to help get this widely supported.

Here is the link to the petition:
http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/release-adam-lanza-toxicology-reports.html

For more information about psychiatric drug side effects click here.

Connecticut Shooting Wake Up Call

Wake Up Call for Federal Investigation of America’s  Failed Mental Health System

In the coming days, as a nation, we will respectfully bow our heads for those brief moments of silence in remembrance of the victims of Newtown, CT. Then, with the same outrage expressed at the murderous act, the nation must rise up and demand a sweeping investigation behind all the possible causes, including the mental health system itself.

According to news reports, the Sandy Hook shooter, Adam Lanza, was a product of the mental health system and had been taking “medication” since the age of ten and reportedly seeing a psychiatrist from at least the age of 15.  Lanza’s mother reportedly told friends that Lanza “was getting worse” and “she was having trouble reaching him.” The questions that need to be answered is when did Adam Lanza first receive mental health treatment, what diagnoses did he receive and what drugs had he been prescribed over his short life.

The larger question is how many times does this senseless scenario have to play out before lawmakers finally acknowledge that the supporting data already exist and, to date, has repeatedly and deliberately been ignored. Between 1998 and 2012, fourteen school shootings occurred, taking the lives of 58 and wounding 109. All fourteen of those shooters were taking or withdrawing from a psychiatric drug and seven of them had been under the “care” of a psychiatrist or psychologist.

In other mass shootings, such as James Holmes, the suspected perpetrator of the July 20, 2012 mass shooting at a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado, it is known that Holmes was seeing psychiatrist Lynne Fenton, yet no mention has been made of what psychiatric drugs he had been prescribed.

The majority of these shooters had been prescribed psychiatric mind-altering drugs that had not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, FDA, for treatment of children under the age of 18. Yet, antidepressants are at the top of the list of drugs indicted in these shootings, including Prozac, Trazodone, Effexor, Celexa and Luvox, to name a few.

Click here now to read the rest of this article.

Sign the Petition for Federal Investigation into the relationship between school shootings and psychiatric drugs.

 

Another School Shooting, Another Psychiatric Drug?

Federal Investigation Long Overdue

Fact: Despite 22 international drug regulatory warnings on psychiatric drugs citing effects of mania, hostility, violence and even homicidal ideation, and dozens of high profile shootings/killings tied to psychiatric drug use, there has yet to be a federal investigation on the link between psychiatric drugs and acts of senseless violence.

Fact: At least fourteen recent school shootings were committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs resulting in 109 wounded and 58 killed (in other school shootings, information about their drug use was never made public—neither confirming or refuting if they were under the influence of prescribed drugs.)

Fact: Between 2004 and 2011, there have been over 11,000 reports to the U.S. FDA’s MedWatch system of psychiatric drug side effects related to violence. These include 300 cases of homicide, nearly 3,000 cases of mania and over 7,000 cases of aggression. Note: By the FDA’s own admission, only 1-10% of side effects are ever reported to the FDA, so the actual number of side effects occurring are most certainly higher.

Of the 14 shooters documented to be under the influence of psychiatric drugs, seven were seeing either a psychiatrist or psychologist. See the list of school shooters on psychiatric drugs by clicking here.

School shooters aren’t the only cases commonly found to be under the influence of psychiatric drugs; here is a list of 10 more recent murders and murder-suicides, committed by individuals taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs resulting in an additional 43 dead and 37 wounded.

Click the following links to view all documented drug regulatory warnings and studies on Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, Anti-Anxiety, and ADHD drugs.

The correlation between psychiatric drugs and acts of violence and homicide is well documented — both by international drug regulatory warnings and studies, as well as by hundreds of cases where high profile acts of violence/mass murder were committed by individuals under the influence of psychiatric drugs.

While there is never one simple explanation for what drives a human being to commit such unspeakable acts, all too often one common denominator has surfaced in hundreds of cases — prescribed psychiatric drugs which are documented to cause mania, psychosis, violence, suicide and in some cases, homicidal ideation.

It is an injustice that the general public are not being informed about the well documented links between psychiatric drugs and violence.

Contact your local, state and federal legislators and officials; contact your local schools and school boards; contact your state boards of education; contact your local and state police; contact your newspapers, radio and TV stations — let them know the proper questions to ask in every case of senseless violence or suicide:

  • Was the perpetrator subjected to psychiatric treatments prior to the violence?
  • Was the perpetrator on psychiatric drugs at the time of the violence?
  • Has the perpetrator been on psychiatric drugs in the past?

Watch the CCHR documentary video “Psychiatry’s Prescription for Violence” at http://www.cchr.org/videos/psychiatrys-prescription-for-violence.html. Find Out! Fight Back!

The Florida Baker Act

The Florida Mental Health Act, commonly known as the “Baker Act,” is a Florida statute allowing for involuntary “examination” (otherwise known as involuntary commitment) of an individual. It can be initiated by a court, law enforcement officer, physician, clinical psychologist, psychiatric nurse, mental health counselor, marriage and family therapist, or clinical social worker.

“Examinations” may last up to 72 hours (not counting weekends and holidays.)

The act was named for a Florida state representative, Maxine Baker, who served as chair of a House Committee on mental health and was the sponsor of the bill.

The nickname of the legislation has led to the term “Baker Act” as a verb, such as “he was Baker Acted” when an individual is forcibly committed. Use of “Baker Acting” as a verb has become prevalent as a slang term for involuntary commitment in other regions of the United States besides Florida.

The number of Miami-Dade students taken for involuntary psychiatric examination by school police has almost exactly doubled in the last five years. Read more about this here. At least 646 times this year, or more than 3 times per school day, Miami-Dade school police have handcuffed a student and taken him or her to a mental health facility under the Baker Act rules.

There were no “school police” when I was in school. What has changed?

Could it be related to the proliferation of addictive, violence-causing psychiatric drugs among school children? That might be too obvious to CCHR Supporters; but it is still a mystery to much of the society at large. Help us spread the word!

Click here for more information about involuntary psychiatric commitment.

Risky Rise of the Good-Grade Pill

A June 9th article in The New York Times describes the rising number of high school students who are abusing ADHD drugs.

“At high schools across the United States, pressure over grades and competition for college admissions are encouraging students to abuse prescription stimulants, according to interviews with students, parents and doctors. Pills that have been a staple in some college and graduate school circles are going from rare to routine in many academically competitive high schools, where teenagers say they get them from friends, buy them from student dealers or fake symptoms to their parents and doctors to get prescriptions.”

“Observed Gary Boggs, a special agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration, ‘We’re seeing it all across the United States.'”

“The D.E.A. lists prescription stimulants like Adderall and Vyvanse (amphetamines) and Ritalin and Focalin (methylphenidates) as Class 2 controlled substances — the same as cocaine and morphine — because they rank among the most addictive substances that have a medical use. (By comparison, the long-abused anti-anxiety drug Valium is in the lower Class 4.) So they carry high legal risks, too, as few teenagers appreciate that merely giving a friend an Adderall or Vyvanse pill is the same as selling it and can be prosecuted as a felony.”

“But abuse of prescription stimulants can lead to depression and mood swings (from sleep deprivation), heart irregularities and acute exhaustion or psychosis during withdrawal, doctors say. Little is known about the long-term effects of abuse of stimulants among the young. Drug counselors say that for some teenagers, the pills eventually become an entry to the abuse of painkillers and sleep aids.”

Read the full New York Times article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/education/seeking-academic-edge-teenagers-abuse-stimulants.html

For more information about the side effects of psychiatric drugs, go to http://www.cchrstl.org/sideeffects.shtml.

Missouri HB 1987 TAKE ACTION

We are delighted to report that Missouri State Representative Mike Leara (Republican, District 095 – Sunset Hills, Crestwood, Fenton and Grantwood Village in St. Louis County) introduced House Bill 1987 with the stated purpose to establish requirements for parental consent for mental health screenings in school and the use of psychotropic medications with children in the custody of the Department of Social Services.

The full text of the bill can be read here. Here are some pertinent quotes:

“The use of educational settings to screen children and adolescents for mental disorders has led to parents not being given sufficient information about the purpose of such screenings, the ramifications if they consent, such as mandatory psychological or psychiatric treatment for their child and family, thereby violating the recognized requirements and standards regarding full informed consent.”

“Based on the subjective nature of the mental health diagnostic system and mental health screenings, millions of children are prescribed antidepressants or stimulants recognized by leading drug regulatory agencies as causing suicidal behavior, suicide, violence, hostility and in the case of stimulants, the potential for strokes and heart attacks.”

“The department of elementary and secondary education shall prohibit the use of schools for any mental health or psychological screening or testing of any student, whether a nonemancipated minor or emancipated minor without the express written consent of the parent or guardian.”

“On or before January 1, 2013, the department of social services shall promulgate rules or amend any current rules to establish and maintain standards and procedures to govern the administration of psychotropic medications.”

ANALYSIS

This is a particularly valuable piece of legislation as it reflects the growing awareness and concern of parents about the harm done to their children by mental health screenings and psychotropic drugs in schools, and the indiscriminate administration of harmful and addictive psychotropic drugs to children in the foster care system.

TAKE ACTION

Please thank Representative Leara for his efforts and let Representative Leara know that you support this legislation, and write your own Missouri State Representative urging them to bring it through Committee and to a vote on the floor.

If you do not live in Missouri, then forward this proposed legislation to your own state representatives and urge them to sponsor and enact similar legislation.

FURTHER INFORMATION

For more information about the harm caused by mental health screenings and psychotropic drugs, visit the CCHR STL web site.