Sunday, July 03, 2005

Thorny Issues

This article explains some of the background with the TeenScreen programs in Illinois. Didn't realize Danville has initiated this, as well.

Teen screening a thorny issue for mental health report

After a 16-year-old girl killed herself last year, the people of Brimfield resolved to do what they could to prevent similar tragedies.They honored Whitney Grotts by setting up a charity walk to raise money for suicide prevention and used some of the funds for mental health screenings of Brimfield High School students.
....From the best of intentions.
The Illinois Children's Mental Health Partnership calls screening programs a "core component" of improving mental health. In a report given to the governor Thursday, the group said community support for screenings should be promoted.
They do want screening/They don't want screening? Could be a bit confusing if you don't remember their bottom line as displayed in their original Plan. Univeral mental health screening. Even as Barbara Shaw says otherwise, that's what they want and that's what they're setting up.
But the idea of mental health screenings worries some parents, who fear children will be stigmatized by labels and pushed to take medication. They also don't think schools should play an active role in mental health issues.

"In our view, mental health can have other dimensions - societal and even spiritual dimensions that the government could not possibly oversee," said Karen Hayes, Illinois director of the conservative group Concerned Women for America.
And how 'bout homeschooling? When is the last time a homeschooler has heard that S word pertaining to homeschooling? It seems to be an automatic, albeit strange question from friends and the community about homeschooling in general as opposed to public school socialization. "I like the idea of homeschooling but be careful with the socialization." Do ya think that maybe some ps bully administrator with some control issues will be doing right by homeschoolers? Just can't wrap my mind around that one.
"It's basically to identify teens of potential risk, let their parents know that there might be a problem and offer to connect families with someone to get a comprehensive evaluation," said Robert Caruano, national co-director of Columbia University's TeenScreen program.
Really? The Gleason family didn't have that enlightening experience. Rather, their "spirited child who was bright but had a tendency to argue and clown" was institutionalized and experimented on with drugs. That's 1 time too many to have that much power to abuse a child.
Libertarians say schools are straying from their educational missions and intruding on personal lives.
Here's a quote from a few years back:
In John Gatto’s book The Underground History of American Education, he states:
"Along the way to this milestone, important way stations were reached beyond the scope of this book to list. The strand I’ve shown is only one of many in the tapestry. The psychological goals of this project and the quality of mind in back of them are caught fairly in the keynote address to the 1973 Childhood International Education Seminar in Boulder, Colorado, delivered by Harvard psychiatrist Chester M. Pierce. This quote appears to have been edited out of printed transcripts of the talk, but was reported by newspapers in actual attendance:
Every child in America entering school at the age of five is mentally ill because he comes to school with certain allegiances to our founding fathers, toward our elected officials, toward his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural being, and toward the sovereignty of this nation as a separate entity. It’s up to you as teachers to make all these sick children well—by creating the international child of the future."
Continuing with the article:
Some people simply do not trust psychologists and believe the programs are a scam by pharmaceutical companies to get more kids taking prescription drugs.
The former editor of the New England Journal, Dr. Marcia Angell, believes that too.
Experts have determined schools are a good place to offer mental health questionnaires because that's a place where students are comfortable.
Captive audience is another interpretation. Throw in primary care providers who administer checkups and day care providers and you've got the vast majority, if not all of kids.
Screened for mental health.

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