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November 13, 2006

New House Minority Leadership Voter Guide
Parental Rights & Educational Freedom

The Republican in the US House of Representatives, now in the minority after Tuesdays elections, will be electing three leadership positions on Friday November 17th. The positions and candidates involved are:

[]   Joe Barton                         [] John Boehner
Texas - 6th                                         Ohio - 8th
First elected 1984                                 First elected 1990
Currently Chairman of                              Currently House Majority Leader
Committee on Energy and Commerce

[]   Mike Pence             
Indiana - 6th                              
First elected 2000                        
Currently Chairman of                     
the Republican Study Committee

[]   Roy Blunt                        [] John Shadegg                                
Missouri - 7th                             Arizona - 3rd
First elected 1996                        First elected 1994
Currently Majority Whip                  Former Chairman of
                                            the Republican Study Committee

[]   Marsha Blackburn                [] Jack Kingston
Tennessee - 7th                                     Georgia - 1st
First elected 2002                                 First elected 1992
Currently Assistant Majority Whip       Currently Vice-Chairman of               
                                                              the House Republican Conference

These elections have major ramifications for the philosophy and direction of the Congress on many topics, including whether or not the unconstitutional federal expansion into education, mental health, and family life will continue unchecked.

This voter's guide is the legislative record of the candidates for the three major leadership posts in the areas of K-12 education and mental health screening and drugging to give our readers a picture of the candidates on these very important issues.  Please use this guide to examine the stances of the candidates in each leadership race.  
No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the 2001 version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), is up for reauthorization in the next Congress.  Despite a few freedom-affirming amendments, NCLB authored during John Boehners tenure as chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee, has been a disaster for academic education, for preparing American children to live as free citizens in a constitutional republic, for parental rights, and for national sovereignty. NCLB has also expanded early childhood programs and the psychologizing of education via many dangerous and ineffective mental health programs.  It has put into hyper-drive the unconstitutional federal interference in education that began in earnest in 1965 with the ESEAs passage.  Detailed background on NCLB, as well as the federal laws and international agreements that undergird it, is available at www.edwatch.org and in two books by Allen Quist FedEd : The  New Federal Curriculum and How Its Enforced and Americas Schools: The Battleground for Freedom.  

A NO vote on NCLB is a vote for freedom:
Barton        Yes              Boehner:    Yes                   Pence: No  
Yes              ShadeggNo
BlackburnNot in Congress during passage      KingstonYes 

2) UNIVERSAL MENTAL HEALTH SCREENING: A serious side effect of growing federal control in education and the accountability movement is that every aspect of students and their families lives is thought to affect a students performance and by extension, the schools performance and funding.  Schools then try to evaluate, account for, control, and treat all of these different areas that are the responsibility of families and should be completely outside the purview of government entities. One of the most dangerous and insidious areas in which education and government have become involved is the social and emotional or mental health of children. Education, mental health, and government experts have been trying to promote mental health screening of very young children in order to prevent mental illness and improve academic performance. Among the many problems with this approach is that mental health diagnoses are vague, subjective, often politically motivated, and are especially difficult to accurately apply to children.  
Since the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health final report in 2004 which recommended the mental health screening of all American citizens starting in preschool and the use of powerful, ineffective, and dangerous psychiatric drugs EdAction and a whole coalition of national groups, professionals, parents, and concerned citizens have been fighting to reign in federal mental health programs and protect families from coerced mental health screening.  Background is available here and here.

A YES on co-sponsorship of HR 181 supports freedom and parental rights:
Barton        No               Boehner:    No            Pence:       Yes  
Blunt:           No               ShadeggNo     
Blackburn:       Yes              KingstonNo

A "YES" vote on these amendments supports freedom and parental rights:
FY 2005  (September 9, 2004)  
Barton        No               Boehner:          No      Pence:   Yes  
Blunt:           No               Shadegg       Yes      
Blackburn:       Yes               Kingston     Yes

FY 2006 (June 24, 2005)
Barton:          No               Boehner:          No      Pence:   Yes  
Blunt:           No               Shadegg       Yes      
Blackburn     Yes               Kingston     Yes
Another outgrowth of the expansion of mental health in the schools is the coerced drugging of children with powerful psychotropic drugs.  There has been a spate of incidents around the country in which schools have threatened or instigated charges of child abuse, child neglect, or educational neglect when parents have refused or discontinued these medications.  The drugs like Ritalin and Prozac have serious, sometimes lethal side effects such as hallucinations, suicide, and violence and have proven in study after study to be ineffective in children for the treatment of depression and attention deficit disorder.  (See a summary of some of this research) John Boehner did work to pass a bill that became part of the special education reauthorization (IDEA) last year that prohibited federal funding for special education programs that allowed this type of coercion with certain psychiatric drugs, but not all of them.  A stand-alone version of that bill that would have applied to all students authored passed the House 425-1 in 2003, but was blocked in the Senate.  An expanded version of the Child Medication Safety Act (HR 1790) authored by Rep. John Kline (R-MN) and co-sponsored by Mr. Boehner that would protect ALL students from coercion with ANY psychiatric drug was introduced in 2005.  The same version that passed in IDEA covering coercion with only the controlled substances passed the House on November 16, 2005 by a vote of 407-12.  (See our report.)   
A YES vote on the Child Medication Safety Act is a vote for freedom and parental rights:
Barton        Yes              Boehner:          Yes     Pence:   Yes  
Blunt:            Yes           Shadegg :     Yes        
BlackburnYes           Kingston     Yes  

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