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CWA of Illinois Shocked By Lawmaker’s Plan To Mandate Testing of School Children’s Mental Health Lawmakers Should Be First In Line For Evaluation

 

7/26/2004 9:13:00 PM by www.cwa.org - Kathy Valente

 

Palos Heights, IL -Overwhelmingly supported by Illinois lawmakers, a plan to evaluate the mental health of children birth -18 yrs. and pregnant women is proceeding and is scheduled for rapid deployment. The Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership Preliminary Plan is the blueprint for intrusive testing of mental health in pregnant women and children by evaluating their social and emotional needs for purposes of remediation and treatment including psychotropic drugs.

 

Associate Director of Concerned Women for America of Illinois Karen Hayes participated in one public forum on this plan. “The hearings held in five locations this week were nothing more than window dressing. However well-meaning, this 26 page plan of vague and subjective rhetoric asks us to go from outcome based education to someone’s idea of outcome based mental health.”

 

In a statement read at Friday’s hearing held in Chicago, Mrs. Hayes raised many serious questions left unanswered in the 26 page plan:

 

· Who is “at risk” and who is not?

 

· Who determines what information is necessary to be shared and what is not?

 

· Who decides what “positive family outcomes” are and are not?

 

· Who decides what “meaningful family involvement” is and is not?

 

· Who determines what is “culturally relevant”?

 

· What kind of approach is “comprehensive and culturally sensitive”?

 

· How will the current controversy over “culturally sensitive” special homosexual rights be addressed?

 

· Which “social emotional screening tools” are the right ones?

 

· How will all pregnant women’s and children’s mental health be “assessed”?

 

· Who decides what is an “age-appropriate social and emotional competency” for each unique child? And what if a child fails someone’s idea of that competency?

 

This new mental health system violates the U.S. Supreme Court’s protection of parental authority by usurping parental determinations of their own children’s health, welfare and education. There is no parental consent provision, as required by the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, 20 USC 1232 h, and no accountability in the draft proposal of this intrusive program. It also violates Illinois law which bans testing of students’ attitudes, values and beliefs.

 

“It’s astonishing that the state is serious about taking on the additional role of being the mental health evaluator and caretaker of all pregnant women and children in Illinois. Furthermore, at a time when budget concerns are on the front pages of most Illinois newspapers, the costliest expansion of bureaucracy we have seen in recent years is being implemented,” said Hayes.

 

Concerned Women for America is the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization.

 

Concerned Women for America of IL, P.O. Box 188 Palos Heights, IL 60463Phone: (708) 371-7810 Fax (708) 371-7896 email: director@illinois.cwfa.org website: http://illinois.cwfa.org/

 


 

 

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