|Back to December Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 215||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||DECEMBER 2003|
|Texas Bans Ritalin-Style Drug-Pushing by Schools! |
H.B. 1406 bans school employees from recommending a psychotropic, or mind-altering, drug or suggesting a particular diagnosis. In addition, the law prohibits excluding a child from a school class or activity because the parents refuse consent to administration of a psychotropic drug or a psychiatric evaluation.
H.B. 320 prohibits reporting parents to state officials as neglectful solely because they refuse to place a child on psychiatric drugs, or refuse psychiatric or psychological treatment or testing, subject to certain exceptions. The two laws are believed to be the strongest of their kind in the nation.
The laws, which were backed by Texas Eagle Forum and other parents' rights groups, became effective September 1. In committee hearings, many parents told lawmakers of being pressured by schools to drug their children. Two parents described the deaths of their children following the administration of psychotropic drugs. Others recounted threats of accusations of medical neglect for refusing to consent to a psychiatric evaluation or to administer a psychotropic drug to their child.
In November 2000, the Texas Board of Education passed a resolution expressing concern about the overuse of psychiatric drugs such as Ritalin on schoolchildren. The 2003 acts give teeth to the intent of the board's non-binding resolution. (see relevant portions of the two laws.)