EDUCATION FOR A FREE NATION
November 18, 2005
105 Peavey Rd, Suite 116, Chaska, MN 55318
House Passes Child Medication Safety Act
Vote is 407 to 12 in important step toward protecting
Wednesday, November 16th, the U.S. House of Representatives
overwhelmingly approved the Child Medication Safety Act (CMSA) sponsored
by Cong. John Kline of Minnesota. We commend and thank Mr. Kline and the
US House for this strong effort to protect children and parental rights.
The bill must still be introduced and passed in
the Senate. Currently, there is no Senate author.
H.R. 1790, "to protect children and
their parents from being coerced into administering a controlled
substance or a psychotropic drug in order to attend school," was 407
to 12 on a Roll
call vote. Minnesota's entire delegation voted yes. Please call your
members to thank them for their support for children and families.
bi-partisan vote for CSMA demonstrates that its provisions enjoy broad
public support. All 25 co-sponsors, however, were Republican, with the
noteworthy exception of Collin Peterson of Minnesota. Minnesota's
Peterson, Mark Kennedy and Gil Gutknecht all joined Mr. Kline as
co-sponsors. The absence of more Democratic co-sponsors is disappointing
on an issue that should be aggressively promoted by all elected
officials. The powerful pharmaceutical lobby is now the chief obstacle to
final Congressional passage, and bi-partisan support will be required to
stir action in the Senate.
November 15th floor speech , Cong. Kline noted the potential for
"serious harm and abuse" in the use of psychotropic drugs on
children. "In some instances," he stated, "school
personnel freely offer diagnoses for ADD and ADHD disorders and urge
parents to obtain drug treatment for their child. Sometimes, officials
even attempt to force parents into choosing between medicating their
child and allowing that child to remain in the classroom. This is
unconscionable. Parents should never be forced to medicate their child
against their will and better judgment in order to ensure their child
will receive educational services."
Dr. Karen Effrem has
to Congress on this issue and has led the charge to put this
protection into law. One example of the need to prohibit coercion to
medicate is demonstrated in the article --
diagnosed by school personnel as having "oppositional
disorder", Aliah was later screened for mental illness and taken to
the Austin State Hospital, a state mental facility, against her
parents wishes. She was denied family contact for five months and
forcibly medicated with 12 different powerful and toxic psychotropic
medications. "What, if anything, was wrong with Aliah remains
cloudy." The entire story is on-line.
Children have died
from the toxic effects of psychotropic medications on which their
parents were forced by the schools to put them.
- ALIAH GLEASON IS A BIG, lively girl with a round face, a quick wit,
and a sharp tongue. She's 13 and in eighth grade at Dessau Middle School
in Pflugerville, Texas, an Austin suburb, but could pass for several
years older. She is the second of four daughters of Calvin and Anaka
Gleason, an African American couple who run a struggling business taking
people on casino bus trips...Aliah was a B and C student who "got in
trouble for running my mouth."
especially focused on the CMSA, because state and federal policies are
establishing comprehensive state mental health systems that would require
universal mental health screening of all children. These are funded
by Congress and administered by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services Administration (SAMHSA) and by the
Administration for Children & Families (ACF). The result of
massive mental health screening will inevitably be massive drugging. The
pharmaceutical lobby also drives universal screening policies.
The Parental Consent
Act of 2005 to prohibit federal money for universal screening
programs still awaits Congressional action.
addition, this month's Ninth Circuit Appeals Court's now infamous
Palmdale decision against parental authority, besides establishing the school
as arbiter of sex education and supporting a school's right to ask nosy
questions that were part of a mental health study, was actually upholding
the schools' right to "protect the mental health of children."
Legislation like the CMSA is absolutely vital to protect and reassert
parental rights to direct the education and health care of their
Hinojosa, D-TX, said, "the decision to medicate a child to
treat mental health problems ... belongs solely to the parents."
the House Education and the Workforce Committee, Rep. Boehner, R-OH,
pointed out that in Congressional hearings, he has learned of "the
number of complaints from parents, grandparents and others where their
children were going to be denied admission to school or denied services
unless their child was put on medication." He further said:
Murphy, R-PA, stated that he is "concerned about some schools
coercing parents to medicate their children without medical
justification--exactly what this legislation aims to prevent. When I saw
child patients as a psychologist," Mr. Murphy said, "I was once
strongly pressured by a school administrator to recommend medication for
students. That sort of pressure is unethical, not to mention potentially
leading to harm for children." In other words, we know that coercion
to drug students is a reality in our nation.
- "Last year when
we reauthorized IDEA,
the special ed law, we put identical language in that law to protect
the parents of special needs children. What this does is covers the rest
of the children. I think it is a great step in the right direction, and I
urge my colleagues to support it."
last Congress the CMSA passed the House 425 to 1 Yet in 2004 it died in
the Senate for lack of committee action, thanks to the active blockade by
Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA). Kennedy admitted those efforts in a
July 2, 2004 Boston Globe story: "Kennedy's office said that it
is important to separate the roles of schools and doctors but that any
legislation limiting schools' ability to push for treatment of children
with mental-health issues should wait until further study of the benefits
and detriments of psychiatric drugs." That story also noted that
Kennedy had received $171,601 in campaign contributions from health
professionals and $97,050 from the pharmaceutical and health-product
statement by Kennedy's office, a
revelations have been published. They document pharmaceutical
industry cover-ups of unflattering clinical trial data and
scientific data that show lack of safety and effectiveness of any of the
psychiatric drugs in children. Given that information, opposition to the
CMSA by the Senate would now be absurd.
Congressman Mark Kennedy, R-MN, stated, "As a father of four, I
understand how important it is to protect parental rights. Parents are
the ones who should be deciding what is best for their children's health
and education." Yet, twelve House members actually
voted no this
week -- 11 Democrats and one Republican. It's hard to imagine what
their excuse might be!
urgent protection for our children and our rights as parents die again in
the 109th Congress? Will Senators step forward to sponsor this
common-sense, necessary protection for our children and see to it that
the CMSA receives an up or down vote in committee and on the Senate
floor? Or will the pharmaceutical lobby once again have their way as they
did in the last Congress?
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