Connecticut’s Senator Dodd Refuses Parents call to Co-sponsor “The Child Medication Safety Act of 2003”

October 20th, 2003 | Press Releases

Contact information:
Sheila Matthews                (203) 966-8419
National Vice President

The national grassroots organization, AbleChild: Parents for Label and Drug Free Education ( announced that Connecticut’s Senator Dodd has refused to co-sponsor Senate Bill 1390, “The Child Medication Safety Act of 2003”. This anti-coercion bill would ensure that schools, operating under federally funded programs, do not demand that a child be “medicated” as a requisite of attending school.

Dodd’s refusal to co-sponsor this bill was highly disappointing to the national parent organization, particularly given the fact that Connecticut was the first state to implement legislation prohibiting parents from being coerced to drug their children. Subsequently, Connecticut set the precedent for parents’ rights, prompting 6 states to pass similar legislation and the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Child Medication Safety Act by 425 to one.

While certain mental health vested interests have tried to say the issue of coerced child drugging is “anecdotal”, AbleChild: Parents for Label and Drug Free Education say that this is simply a diversionary tactic — meant to minimize widespread systemic abuse. The organization has gathered over 400 signatures from parents across the U.S. who attest to the fact that they personally have been pressured, coerced or forced to administer psychiatric drugs to their children as a pre-requisite for attending school.

Ms. Sheila Matthews, the National Vice President of AbleChild: Parents for Label and Drug Free Education, said that Senator Dodd’s office was made aware of these 400 signatures. “I personally contacted Senator Dodd’s office and informed them that our grassroots organization, with very little promotion other than word of mouth, gathered over 400 signatures of parents from across the country who have experienced this abuse. We have parent’s signatures that are from states, which have in fact passed legislation prohibiting schools from coerced drugging, yet the pressure continues because there is no set accountability for violations of these laws. This fact is exactly why we need federal protections — because there must be accountability — there must be financial penalties for federally funded agencies, namely schools, that completely disregard a parent’s right to raise their child drug free.”

Surprisingly, Senator Dodd said in his recent press release on the Drug Trafficking Grants awarded to the City of Norwalk, “No amount of money can do as much as a caring parent, teacher or neighbor to prevent kids from falling into unhealthy behaviors that include violence and substance abuse”. Sadly, Senator Dodd has failed to hear the cries from those “caring parents” asking for assistance in co-sponsoring this important bill, which directly relates to controlled substances.

AbleChild encourages all Connecticut residences to stand up for those who don’t have a voice, and urge Senator Dodd to sign on as a co-sponsor to this landmark legislation, so that every parent has the inalienable right to refuse to administer potentially addicting, dangerous and even life threatening drugs to their children. This organization has members whose children have died due to coerced psychiatric drugging, and as parents, they stress that we simply must not allow this abuse to continue.

To find out more about child abuse and child death from coerced child drugging, log onto and read the testimonies of Mr. Larry Smith, Vice President for AbleChild Michigan, and Mrs. Vicky Dunkle, Vice President for AbleChild Pennsylvania. The petitions signatures are also available for viewing.

Death of Daughter Drives Parents to Washington D.C., Seeking Senate support of “The Child Medication Safety Act of 2003”

September 10th, 2003 | Press Releases

Contact information:

Sheila Matthews
National Vice President, 203-966-8419
Parents for Label & Drug Free Education

On February 26, 2001 , at the age of 10 years old, Shaina Louise Dunkle died within minutes in her mom’s arms, due to toxic levels of the psychiatric drug prescribed her. Mr. and Mrs. Dunkle never wanted to drug their daughter, but continued pressure from school personnel to have their daughter diagnosed for “ADHD” led to them to accede to the pressure.

Mr and Mrs. Dunkle are now passionately campaigning for safeguards against coercive tactics in public schools, that pressure parents to have their children diagnosed for “mental disorders” and seek out drug treatment. They are bringing their own tragic story to members of the U.S. Senate, in an effort to illustrate the need for federal safeguards to protect other parents across the U.S. from being coerced, pressured or forced into administering potentially addictive, dangerous and even life-threatening psychiatric drugs to children.

According to Mrs. Vicky Dunkle,”Parents are being misled into believing they are doing right by their children when agreeing to administer psychiatric drugs to them. They do not realize that they are harming them. The fact that school personnel can coerce parents into administering these dangerous drugs to children has got to stop. Schools are supposed to be the place that we, as parents, feel our children will be safe from harm. Our daughter’s death has not only left us to deal with the guilt of believing in the so-called professional system, but anger that we were not warned properly about the subjective label and the risks of the ‘treatment’ associated with it.”

Mrs. Vicky Dunkle is now the Vice President for the state of Pennsylvania of Parents for Label and Drug Free Education,, a national grassroots parent’s organization that fights for a parent’s inalienable right to raise their children drug free. The group has over 350 signatures on their website from parents across the nation who have been coerced, and or pressured by school personnel to drug their children. She and her husband Steve Dunkle are in Washington D.C. this week, speaking out on behalf of the hundreds of other parents who support the “The Child Medication Safety Act of 2003”, Senate Bill 1390.

With recent headlines alerting the Nation of the banning and warnings regarding the drug Paxil for its potential for causing suicidal ideation in children, the makers of the drug Efferxor, have now admitted that their drug has similar deadly risks for our children. This new evidence highlights the urgent need for both a federal response and immediate action in what is a serious threat to children’s safety.

Today marks the 33rd Year Anniversary of Federal Hearings held on Behavior Modification Drugs on School Age Children – The Right to Privacy Inquiry. 91st Congress, Second Session

August 29th, 2003 | Press Releases

Contact Information
Patricia Weathers      (845) 677-8419
Sheila Matthews         (203) 966-8419

Thirty-three years later, parents continue to be pressured by school officials to place their children on mind altering behavioral drugs. Today, parents have come together across the Nation to ask the Senate to move “The Child Medication Safety Act of 2003” into law. This problem of labeling and drugging school age children has not been solved. It is time we look at the long history of this dangerous problem and close the loopholes that allow it to continue to grow.

Let’s remember that during the 1970 hearings, The U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Food and Drug Administration of Washington, DC issued for immediate release the following: “Dr. Charles C. Edwards, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said today he has moved to limit sharply the use of amphetamine drugs, now, being widely sold as stimulants and appetite suppressants in this Country, and he appealed to manufacturers to reduce the production and sale of these drugs.”

This reduction demand has not happened. The fact is that the production and sales have increased. These important hearings into the use of behavioral modification drugs should be remembered today. Our Country must be allowed educational access to the history of the problem. This problem still clearly exists. A positive step would be to move “The Child Medication Safety Act of 2003” into law.

It is unbelievable to see an article from the Washington Post, September 30, 1970, FDA Warns against Uses of “Behavior” Amphetamines, By Robert C. Maynard; and to think it is 2003 and parents are still fighting for justice


August 29th, 2003 | Press Releases

Sheila Matthews
Parents for Label and Drug Free Education
National Vice President

White Plains, New York: Federal District Judge Conner

Motion to Dismiss Denied.

United States Federal Judge of the Southern District of New York, Judge William Conner, has ruled coerced child drugging case will stay in federal court. Senior District Judge denies motion to dismiss.

On August 7, 2002 little 12 year-old Michael Mozer’s horror story of school officials forcing him “To take a cocktail of drugs that turned him into a psychotic who heard voices in his head” hit the front cover of the New York Post. School officials, “Who went so far as to file a medical-neglect and child-abuse complaint against his mother with the State’s Department of Children and Family Services after she stopped the medication,” have lost their plea to have the case dismissed.

New Jersey lawyer Alan Milstein of Sherman, Silverstein, Kohl, Rose & Podolsky ( is handling this high profile case. Milstein raises the issue of informed consent and the claims that parents are not being provided with all information regarding the subjective nature of an ADHD diagnosis, alternatives to “medication”, and drug risks, among others. Milstein’s focus is also on the constitutional rights of the child.

Both the school and doctors’ attorney filed motion to have the legal action dismissed earlier this year. In an eleven page opinion and order of July, 2, 2003, Judge Conner ruled that this boy’s case will indeed be heard in federal court, officially dismissing the school’s and physicians’ attempts to get it thrown out.

This case has a national impact and has the power to reform the broken system of labeling and drugging children within the public education system.

“No child should endure what Michael Mozer has been through. With more and more legal cases pending, this should serve as a wake up call to ensure our children will not be trafficked into behavioral drug use through the public education system,” Sheila Matthews, National Vice President

The sweeping trend of States passing laws to prevent forced drugging in the public schools, and Congress passing similar legislation in the form of the “Child Medication Safety Act of 2003” with a margin of 425 to 1, has led Senator John Ensign of Nevada to sponsor this Act in the Senate.

For further information on the legal aspects of this case contact Alan Milstein,

Reference: New York Post Article by Douglas Montero, August 7, 2002.

Behind Closed Doors Drug Company Lobbies Connecticut DCF Officials For Access to Children in State Care

August 27th, 2003 | Press Releases

Sheila Matthews
National Vice President
State of Connecticut is outraged that the Commissioner of the State Department of Children and Families (DCF) meets behind closed doors with the manufacturer of the drug “Paxil” that has been linked to suicidal thoughts in children without any oversight. This raises ethical questions.

The FDA has warned that “Paxil” should not be used in children, and the United Kingdom has banned its use. In November 2002, Fox National News exposed confidential documents from the manufacturer of “Paxil” which suggested that a patient taking the drug was 8 times more likely to commit suicide then a patient on placebo (sugar pill).

In Connecticut in May of 1997, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals-Biological Division sponsored Workshops in Connecticut on Strategies for Drug Development and Trials in children at Yale Department of Pediatrics, and Yale Child Health Research Center in New Haven, Connecticut as well as Yale Child Study Center. What role does DCF children play in clinical drug trials?

The Associated Press exposed that 396 children under 4 years old who were covered by Medicaid were prescribed psychiatric drugs. The Associated Press also reported that $5.8 million in state Medicaid money was spent each year on psychiatric drugs for children with State insurance.

It is shocking that DCF, who has a total lack of accountability for previous involvement in the trafficking of children in State care into behavioral drug use, is meeting directly with the drug manufacturer of “Paxil” without any oversight. The Governor wasn’t even informed that the meeting was held yesterday, no minutes of the meeting were taken, and the purpose of the meeting was not disclosed.

However, our organization was told by DCF that the foreign-based drug manufacturer has been invited to participate in upcoming policy meetings on psychotropic drugs in September within the Department of Children and Family Services in Connecticut. Our Connecticut children in DCF care lack basic education, yet we are spending massive amounts of money on behavioral drugs. This is unethical. We have a shortage of basic access to tutoring that is sorely needed for children in state custody.

It is like putting the fox in charge of the hen house. The children’s safety, well being, and their basic constitutional rights should force the closed doors open. Our Connecticut based National Parent Organization, Parents for Label & Drug Free Education; has requested access and oversight, which we have not received.

ABLECHILD Wins Request to BAN the use of Paxil on Children in the Department of Family Services System in the State of Connecticut.

July 16th, 2003 | Press Releases

Contact Information

Patricia Weathers                     845-677-8115

Sheila Matthews                       203-966-8419
National Vice President
After our repeated calls to Governor Rowland’s Office regarding the recent findings that Paxil causes suicidal ideation and behavior tendencies in children, The Department of Family & Children Services of Connecticut Advisory Committee has removed Paxil from use in children in DCF care for a six month period pending further review.

We are thrilled that the Department of Family Services has taken our organization’s request and the FDA’s warnings seriously and has removed Paxil for use in children in state custody. Even though we are encouraged with this recent victory, we strongly feel that the lack of informed consent and the right to refuse “drug” treatment for these children is at a crisis level.

The lack of accountability of the number of children in state care diagnosed with subjective mental illnesses is an alarming problem, not only in the State of Connecticut, but also throughout the Country. We look at this recent BAN on Paxil as a stepping-stone to protect all children and reform the broken sy

Ablechild is thrilled to learn that Senator John Ensign of Nevada has sponsored “The Child Medication Safety Act” in the Senate.

July 16th, 2003 | Press Releases

Contact Information
Patricia Weathers       845-677-8115

Sheila Matthews         203-966-8419
National Vice President

With parents speaking out from every State in the Union, this federal action taken will ensure that those calls are heard. The dramatic rise of the diagnosing of subjective mental illnesses and the forced drug “treatment” on children in the public education system has reached the Senate. On our website alone, we have over 300 signatures of parents nationwide that have experienced this coercion to drug their children by schools.

America is clearly facing a crisis regarding the lack of informed consent and the right to refuse psychological services and drug treatments promoted by the mental health industry within the school system.

Mr. Lawrence Smith, whose son died from heart failure caused by a prescribed stimulant recommended by the school, couldn’t have put it more clearly to the point when he stated that, “I cannot go back and change things for us at this point; however, I hope to God my story and information will reach the hearts and minds of many families, so they can make an educated decision.” The Child Medication Safety Act would prevent families like the Smith’s from losing their children needlessly by undue pressure to use behavioral drugs via the education system.

We encourage the media to educate parents of the dangers associated with the labeling and drugging of our children currently being promoted and pushed with selective research within the public education system. We commend Senator Ensign for his courage to sponsor such an important basic parental rights bill. We continue to encourage all parents to reach out to their federal senators and request that they sign onto this important bill as well. Only by doing this, will parents protect their right to choose and ensure their children’s health, safety, and well-being.


June 26th, 2003 | Press Releases

Contact information:

Sheila Matthews                                        Patricia Weathers
National Vice President                             National President                          
203-966-8419                                           845-677-8115

Today marks the anniversary of the 1987 signing of the Declaration at the International Conference against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking. As Kofi Anna, Secretary-General of the United Nations notes in his remarks commemorating today’s important milestone, “Let’s talk about drugs… ” Underlines the need for children, families, peers, teachers and communities to talk about drug abuse, admit that it is a problem, and take responsibility for doing something about it.”

With this important event in mind, our organization is pleased with the Food and Drug Administration’s recent action regarding issuing a statement that the drug Paxil should not be used on children because of the increase risk of suicidal impulses. This recent announcement comes nine days after Great Britain issued a similar ban of the drug known as Seroxat (another name for Paxil) for children.

The growing number of behavioral drugs used on school-aged children is at an alarming level. Our organization is concerned with the rise in the use of these drugs as well as the fact that parents are not being provided with all information regarding the many dangerous side effects that the drugs have. This clearly is in violation of parent’s informed consent rights and disables a parent’s ability to make an educated, sound decision. This announcement reinforces the fact that Federal laws are needed to protect our children’s health and safety.

The recent Paxil finding is just one example of the broader issue, which is selling drugs to our children without disclosing risks. The selective distribution of deceptive marketing materials to parents demonstrates the immediate need for federal policies and an investigation into the mental health and drug industries marketing campaign targeting our children. With profit as a common factor and billions hanging on the line, it is little wonder that Paxil’s manufacturer failed to disclose certain clinical trials and the potential risks involved while taking their drug. The fact that the pharmaceutical industry has a tight grip on the American public and is a billion dollar industry should raise the question to many: “What other information is being withheld from parents and consumers regarding the many behavioral drugs being prescribed to our children today?”

Pending Legal Cases:

Parents for Label and Drug Free Education featured on the Montel Williams show “A Parents Right to Choose”.

April 13th, 2003 | Press Releases

Patricia Weathers, President
Sheila Mathews, Vice President
Vicky Dunkle, Vice President

Will be featured on

The Montel William’s Show
April 15, 2003

“A Parent’s Right To Choose”

In Memory of Shaina Dunkle and the Many Other Children that have Lost their Lives due to Behavioral Drugs. Our organization urges you to speak out and support H.R. 1170.


April 1st, 2003 | Press Releases

“Shaina looked into my eyes as her life ended and I could do nothing to save her. Believe me, it is a nightmare no parent should ever have to live with.”

Little Shaina Dunkle’s story began in 1999, when her school complained to her mother that Shaina couldn’t stay focused and talked out of turn. The school psychologist stated that she believed Shaina suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and the pressure to drug her child began. Though Vicky Dunkle did not want to drug her daughter, the school pressured her continually by isolating Shaina in the hallway to do her work, and dumping out her desk in front of the class in mock humiliation. “We refused to drug her at first but we finally gave in because Shaina was being made to feel different,” said Mrs. Dunkle.

The Dunkle’s say it was pressure from the school psychologist that made them give in, and Shaina was subsequently diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed the drug Desipramine. Two years later, Mrs, Dunkle held her 10-year-old daughter in her arms as she died. The Coroner ruled the girls death was due to Desipramine toxicity. “Our daughter’s death has not only left us to deal with the guilt of believing in the so-called professional system, but anger that we were not warned properly about the drug side effects,” said Mrs. Dunkle.

“As a parent, I believe that the issue of informed consent is crucial to safeguard not only our parental rights but those rights governing our children’s health and well being. The Child Medication Safety Act of 2003 includes the stimulants that are regularly being forced on parents, but there are many other drugs being pushed on children, including the drug that took my daughter’s life,” says Mrs. Dunkle. “I strongly urge Congress to recognize this and include a broader range of drugs being promoted to parents, as they all have dangerous and even lethal side effects. It’s been two years since my daugter’s death, yet I relive those last few minutes of her life every day. If I had listened to my heart instead of the advice of the school and the so-called professionals who thought they knew my daughter better than I did, my precious Shaina would be alive now.”

For more information on the Child Medication Safety Act 2003, click here

Vicky Dunkle is Vice President of Parents for Label and Drug Free Education in the State of Pennsylvania. She speaks out against the issue of coercion to drug children in our public schools. She continues to demand accountability and informed consent rights regarding the subjective diagnosis ADHD and drug “treatment”.

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