Like Stargel’s bill, Storms is sure to raise questions about a Big Brother attitude and government intrusion. Because , based on comments on Stargel’s proposal, even parents on top of the school-involvement game didn’t seem to like lawmakers inserting themselves in such private matters ( though there were readers who applauded the representatives efforts to hold parents, and not just schools, accountable)
Most of you remember the story the My Grandson Tyler, about the death of an eight year old boy named Tyler who passed away early the morning after Christmas. Tyler had been taking a drug called Metadate (a trade name for Ritalin), at the request of his school. An important part of the story dealt with how Tyler's parent's felt pressured by the school to medicate their son. It would be easy to dismiss that as a one teacher. one school, one mistake. Shortly after the blog was published it became clear that wasn't the case.. These are quotes are from some of the comments readers posted on the story:
This is incredibly sad. I had experienced the same pressures from the faculty when my oldest son was around 10, they even had the audacity to present a 'permission slip' to have him evaluated, to medicate him in my absence, and that I had everything explained to me and I understood everything including advserse affects and that I assume all responsibility.................... LeftyThose quotes are from comments readers posted publicly, I received many more in emails and private messages from members of various opinion forums where discuss news, politics and comment. Reality for Eve a member of one of those forums pointed me in the direction of a website, Fight for Kids, dedicated to the issue. If you are one of the many parents feeling pressured to medicate your child, I suggest you pay the site a visit.
..........The next week I got another call at work, same thing, I again refused. And again I told them to take him out of gifted, again they refused. The following week came the third call, again at work, except this time I was essentially accused of neglect for not being willing to have my son tested and being a bad mother for wanting him out of gifted. I was brow-beaten to the point that I agreed to do a 'home assessment', a multipaged questionaire though I still refused to take him to the doctor.......
.........The most disturbing part of it all was the persistence of the school in their quest to have him diagnosed as ADHD. And not even because of behavior problems but because he wasn't getting the grades they thought he should have been............... Fast Z
I too had two boys that the school had wanted me to put on medication for ADHD. I complide, for their benefit. My boys were Zombies, I chose to take them off of the medication....... justlisa1121
The school system "suggested" I have my Daughter and later my son medicated. My answer can not be posted here...Keep in mind this was the same school system that said my Daughter was either gifted or retarded........................... Captain Black Eagle***********
.................The other thing is the over use of medication to control children's behavior. We have had experience with it and know that best solution to hyper activity is activity. Focused activity. One child the school wanted to medicate but sports worked better. Same with a grand child. It is amazing how focused they can be on the ball field or up in a tree stand. It is amazing how much energy is used when you make em run a few laps around the neighborhood.............. Aquagrump***********
Do I believe that schools or teachers are evil, as one commentor on My Grandson Tyler suggested? Not at all. What I believe is well intended state legislatures have already given the schools a great deal of power over the lives of American Parents. The perception of most parents, and some teachers and educators is they have more authority than the actually do. The purpose of public education is assist parents in teaching our children what they must know to understand the world around them. It's purpose is not to replace, judge or supersede parents.
Most parents are supportive of our schools and teachers, especially teachers they know, this is how it should be. For many years our legislatures and local districts have given the schools most of what they've asked for, including larger more attractive building, smaller class sizes, better pay and benefits, Believe it or not Air Conditioning was a major and expensive improvement, those old classrooms used to be miserable in early fall and summer. We've also our schools an increasing amount of authority over our lives and the lives of our children. As Tyler's story shows, even well intended over reach of authority can have tragic results.
Kids talk to each other about their report cards, if teachers start grading parents that's going to be hot topic of discussion.. It doesn't take much imagination
"Hey Mary, heard your mommy flunked being a mommy, wait till my mommy hears that".
Within minutes of the kids getting home from school, Mary's mom's entire neighborhood, family, friends, church, boss and her auto mechanic know Mary's mom is a failure. Sooner or later it will find it's way into her credit report. What if Mary's Mom's only offense was to "Say No to Drugs" that a well intentioned teacher strongly believed to be in the childs best interests.
It's easy to say it won't happen because, "it would be against the rules" or "it would be unethical'. Believe me, it will happen. Human nature is what it is, if you give people power and authorty they will use it, it's inevitable some will overuse it, believing under some circumstances it's justified. A few will absolutely abuse it. If this law passes, how many parents will have the courage, and the resources, to risk questioning The System ? I don't believe most teachers will want any part of this, but some will, and those are the ones who we should already be worrying about.
Is it worth the risk, where do we draw the line?