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Parental Rights and Informed Consent

Parental Rights might seem to be a guaranteed set of rights that would never be interrupted, yet you may be surprised to find out that there exists a multitude of avenues where those rights are being violated on a daily basis.  Thus, there is a lot of information parents may want to be aware of so that they are prepared for any set of circumstances that may pose a threat to their right to raise their child as they see fit.

Parental rights and school are intertwined with parental rights in the field of mental health.  An atrocious thing to admit, our schools have become secondary clinics for mental health diagnoses.  Since the 1960s, mental health professionals and assessments have become commonplace within a school setting.  What once used to be a hallowed ground for education, and only education, has become the launching plate for many mental health programs throughout the country.

Teachers are, currently, being trained to “observe” their students for a potential of mental health or behavioral health problems. They are giving these observations in the form of written statements and comments to the school counselor, family courts, Pediatricians, and parents.  The, seemingly, mild statement to a parent that the child “may have ADHD” can result in the child being labeled with a learning disorder, prescribed schedule II drugs and most often labeled with multiple disorders later in life. Teachers, by law, can only share school-based observations, according to a Federal Statute that prohibits them from coercing parents to medicate their child as a requisite to attending school.

Teachers, counselors, and the like, may attempt to gain consent from parents to administer mental health questionnaires to their students and yet the parent may not be aware that most mental health assessments lead to diagnosis and drugging.  Per the 14th Amendment and per the 1991 Patient Self-Determination Act, parents have the right to assert their right to make all medical decisions regarding their children. Parents have a right to file a “Parents’ Rights Document” in their child’s school records so that they can be certain they have done all they can do to protect their rights as parents to determine what path their child’s life may take.

In addition to mental health screening, children are involuntarily committed from school grounds and most parents are not aware that this is happening on a daily basis around the country and most parents are not aware that it is happening for reasons that, in fact, do not meet the criteria for involuntary commitment.  Parents have the right to file a non-consent form with the school in order to assert their right to take their child home instead of being brought, in a sheriff resource officer’s vehicle, to a psychiatric ward for a 72 hour hold.

Bullying has become a subject of concern in the media and that concern is stirring up a large sweep of attention not only from adults, but also from children.  It is an issue that has existed for centuries, yet now it is being thrown into the mental health arena and thereby so are the children who are the bullies and who are the victims of bullies.  Parents do have the right, per state law, in each state, to report a bullying incident and to demand that it be put to an end immediately.

Parents who stay involved in their child’s education by attending parent-teacher meetings, making sure the child’s grades are good, any potential difficulty in school is handled quickly and all bullying situations promptly put to an end, are parents who can continue to be assured of their rights to the best degree possible.

To obtain copies of any of the forms mentioned in this article or to find out more about your rights, go to www.cchrflorida.org or call 800-782-2878

Written by Laurie Anspach, Executive Director CCHR Florida

Written by Laurie Anspach

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The information provided in this site is intended for general informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice and is not intended to provide complete medical information. KidsMisdiagnosed, Inc does not offer personalized medical diagnosis of patient-specific treatment advice. All medical information presented should be discussed with your healthcare professional. Remember, the failure to seek timely medical advice can have serious ramifications. KidsMisdiagnosed, Inc urges you to discuss any current health related problems you or your child are experiencing with a healthcare professional immediately.