State Legislation

Linking Data to Save Lives – AbleChild

CHILD LABELING & DRUGGING BILLS & RESOLUTIONS PASSED

In 1999, the Colorado State Board of Education passed a precedent setting Resolution, which asked school personnel to use academic solutions to resolve problems with behavior, attention and learning, rather than psychotropic drugs. Since then, enormous progress has been made on the issue of protecting children and their families from forced psychiatric labeling and drugging, and to monitor the prescription rate of stimulants and other psychiatric drugs for children.  There have been 46 state bills or Resolutions; including the Colorado Resolution; in 28 states that have either passed, or are still pending action, across the United States.

The other precedent-setting legislation is the Connecticut law in 2001 that prevents school personnel from coercing or recommending that parents drug their children, especially as a condition for the child remaining in class.  Since then, another eight bills have been similarly introduced.

Of the bills introduced and/or passed, nine relate to prohibiting coercion in schools to have a child put on psychiatric drugs; eight establish investigations and/or tracking systems for children being psychiatrically labeled and drugged; five increase parental consent rights; four eliminate the threat of parents being criminally charged with “medical neglect” if they refuse to place their child on a psychiatric drug.

The breakdown of the resolutions/bills are as follows:

1999:

State
Description
Introduced
Active
Passed
Colorado
State Board of Education Resolution
Resolution promoting the use of academic solutions to resolve problems with behavior, attention and learning in the classroom.
10/99
PASSED
11/11/99
National
Black Caucus Of State Legislators
Resolution strongly urges a national examination of the use of psychotropic drugs and their effects on children.
12/01/99
PASSED
12/03/99

2000:

State
Description
Introduced
Active
Passed
Georgia
R 1079
The General Assembly of Georgia creates the Commission on Psychiatric Medication of School-Age Children, to investigate the usage and effects of psychiatric drugs on children and to provide recommendations for improved monitoring of the prescription rate of these drugs.
02/16/00
PASSED
05/01/00
Texas
State Board of
Education
Resolution
Resolution urging local school personnel to use proven academic and/or management solutions to resolve behavior, attention and learning difficulties such as exams, tutoring, phonics, vision testing, etc., known to be effective and harmless.
11/01/00
PASSED
11/03/00
Washington
HB 2912
An act relating to the use of psychiatric “medication” by children in state custody, and tracking the number of children being diagnosed and placed on psychiatric “medications.”
01/21/00
PASSED
03/24/00

2001:

State
Description
Introduced
Active
Passed
Connecticut
AB 5701
Prohibits school personnel from recommending the use of psychotropic drugs for any child. A parent or guardian refusing to administer, or consenting to administer, a psychotropic or stimulant cannot be grounds for a child to be taken into the custody of the Dept. of Child and Family Services.
01/12/01
PASSED
06/28/01
Hawaii
SC Resolution
92
Requests the Department of Health and Department of Education jointly to research and examine non-“medication” alternatives for dealing with children who have learning and behavioral difficulties.
03/14/01
PASSED
04/12/01
Minnesota
HB 478
Parents’ refusal to give stimulant drugs to a child does not constitute educational neglect. States that a child does not have to take such drugs as a condition for re-admission to school after having been suspended. Also establishes a study and report system on the number of children in the state labeled with ADD/ADHD and taking such drugs, as well recording what pressures families have experienced when placing their child on these drugs.
02/01/01
PASSED
05/01/01
North Carolina
SB 542
Calls for the establishment of a statewide database on the administration of psychotropic drugs to children who receive state services.
03/19/01
PASSED
05/25/01
Utah
HB 170
Amends the definition of “substantiated child abuse” to exclude failure to administer psychiatric drugs or course of treatment if the parent has not been told of the opportunity to obtain a physical exam; authorizes Division of Child and Family Services to report an individual who is not a licensed health care provider to the appropriate licensing authority for making medical recommendations regarding administration of psychiatric drugs to children.
01/26/01
PASSED
03/15/01

2002:

State
Description
Introduced
Active
Passed
Illinois
SB 1718
Requires school board to adopt and implement policy prohibiting disciplinary action that is based totally or in part on the refusal of a student’s parent or guardian to administer or consent to administer a psychotropic or stimulant drug.
01/10/02
PASSED 07/16/02
Virginia
HB 90
Board of Education to develop and implement policies prohibiting school personnel from recommending the use of psychotropic drugs for any student. Student cannot be evaluated by a medical practitioner unless with the written consent of the student’s parents.
01/31/02
PASSED 04/01/02
National
National Foundation of Women Legislators (NFWL) Resolution
National Foundation of Women Legislators (NFWL) urges federal government to pass regulations or laws in relation to schools receiving federal funds that protect children from being wrongly diagnosed and stigmatized as mentally disordered, and forced onto psychotropic drugs as a requisite for their education.
11/23/02
PASSED
11/23/02
Texas
HB 320
Refusal to administer or consent to administration of psychotropic drugs or any other psychiatric or psychological treatment to a child does not by itself constitute neglect.
12/20/02
INTRODUCED 12/20/02

2003:

State
Description
Introduced
Active
Passed
Federal
HR 1170
As a condition of receiving funds under any program or activity administered by the Secretary of Education, each State shall develop and implement policies and procedures prohibiting school personnel from requiring a child to obtain a prescription for substances covered by section 202(c) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812(c)) as a condition of attending school or receiving services. 3/11/03 Passed the House 5/21/03. Received in the Senate and referred to Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions 5/22/03
Federal
Amendment to HR 1350
Amendment added to federal bill H.R. 1350 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: “State educational agency develops and implements policies and procedures prohibiting school personnel from requiring a child to obtain a prescription for substances covered by section 202(c) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812(c)) as a condition of attending school or receiving services.” 4/10/03 Passed the House 4/30/03. Received in the Senate and referred to Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions 5/01/03
Alaska
SB 5
Prohibits school personnel from recommending or requiring a child take a psychotropic drug as a requisite for attending public school. Also prohibits filing a report to authorities of suspected child abuse or neglect based solely on the parent’s/guardian’s refusal to consent to the administration of a psychotropic drug or psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral treatment of child. And prohibits a court from making ruling of neglect or abuse against parent solely based on the same allegation.
01/10/03
Referred to Health Education and Social Services Committee and Finance Committee 1/21/03
California
AB 1424
Refusal of a parent or guardian to administer, or consent to administration of any medication or medical treatment for child does not constitute, in and of itself, a basis for child being removed from physical custody of parent or guardian. 2/21/03 Referred to Health committee 4/07/03
Colorado
HB 1172
Requires each school board to adopt a policy prohibiting school personnel from recommending or requiring the use of a psychotropic drug by any student.
1/15/03
PASSED
06/05/03
Hawaii
HB 272
Prohibits the Department of Health personnel from requiring, suggesting, or implying that a student take psychiatric drugs as a requisite to attending school. 1/17/03 Passed First Reading 1/21/03
Hawaii
SB 981
Replicates House Bill 274 for the Senate, requiring the Dept. of Health, assisted by the Dept. of Ed., to report annually for 5 years on number of children in schools diagnosed with ADD or ADHD; number of those children who receive special education; how many of those are prescribed and using psychiatric drugs. 1/21/03 Passed First Reading 1/21/03
Hawaii
HB 275
Requires the Dept. of Health and the Dept. of Education to re-examine the legitimacy of the diagnoses of ADHD and ADD in their assessment of children under the category of attention problems and hyperactivity. 1/17/03 Passed First Reading 1/21/03
Hawaii
SB 982
Replicates House Bill 275 for the Senate: Requires the Dept. of Health and the Dept. of Education to re-examine the legitimacy of diagnoses of ADHD and ADD in their assessment of children under the category of attention problems and hyperactivity. 1/21/03 Passed First Reading
1/21/03
Indiana
HB 1974
Prohibits teachers from attempting to influence a parent or guardian to obtain psychotropic drugs for students, and forbids a student from being forced to take a psychotropic drug as a requisite for readmission after suspension for behavioral problems. 1/23/03 To House Committee on Education 1/23/03. Still in House Committee on Education. Rep. Reske added as coauthor 2/18/03
Kentucky
HJR 67
House Joint Resolution that says, because of the concern about psychotropic drug effects and the increase of prescriptions for such drugs to children, the Kentucky Department of Education is requested to provide education and training to school personnel regarding the use of psychotropic drugs; it urges the Cabinet for Families and Children to adopt policy to ensure that a parent’s refusal to place a child on psychotropic drugs shall not in and of itself constitute grounds for abuse or neglect. 1/10/03 Posted in Health & Welfare Committee 2/18/03
Massachusetts
SB 674
Prior to practitioners prescribing psychotropic drugs to a minor, they must have the parent or guardian read, or be told verbally if incapable of understanding written information, fullinformation on the psychotropic drug(s) being prescribed from the Physician’s Desk Reference Family Guide to Prescription Drugs and obtain written attestation that the information, including drug side effects, is understood. Written attest to be kept on file as part of child’s record. 1/01/2003 To Committee on Health Care 01/01/03
Massachusetts
SB 811
A parent’s or legal guardian’s refusal to medicate their child with psychotropic drug(s) or refusing to have him/her receive mental health counseling shall not be considered neglect. 1/01/03 To Joint Committee on Human Services and Elderly Affairs and filed as Senate Docket 703 1/01/03
Massachusetts
SB 2227
Power of the school committee (the governing board of a town’s public school system to carry out the educational policies of the state), any teacher, counselor or other agent of school committee shall not include the right to require a student be placed on a psychotropic drug to attend or remain in school, or the right to recommend or suggest the use of a psychotropic drug for any child. 1/01/03 To Committee on Education, Arts and Humanities 1/01/03
Michigan
HB 4024
Creates a psychotropic drug use advisory council to investigate, compile a report, and recommend policies pertaining to psychotropic drug use among children. 1/28/03 To Committee on Family and Children Services 1/28/03
Michigan
HB 4025
Prohibits teachers from making a psychological or medical diagnosis of a behavioral condition or disorder in a child or recommending a child having to take a prescribed psychotropic drug. 1/28/03 Passed through the House 5/08/03 and referred to Senate Committee on Education 5/13/03
New Hampshire
HB 551
Refusal of a parent or other guardian to administer or consent to the administration of any psychotropic drug to a child shall not, in and of itself, constitute grounds to take the child into custody, or for the court to order that such child be taken into custody. 1/09/03 To Children and Family Law Committee 1/09/03
New York
AB 2955
Enacts a “parent and pupil rights act” whereby all instructional material used in connection with any “psychiatric or psychological research or experimentation program or project,” in elementary or secondary school, shall be available for inspection by parents or guardians; also prohibits such programs or projects having the purpose of revealing political affiliations, religious beliefs and practices, sex behavior and attitudes, and other listed privileged information. 2/03/03 Referred to Education Committee 2/03/03
New York
AB 3563
Act amends education law to prohibit all school personnel and school districts from suggesting or recommending use of psychotropic drugs for any child. Any personnel or school district found guilty of the above “may be charged with the crime of professional misconduct…which relates to the practice of medicine without a license.” Refusal of a parent or guardian to administer or agree to the administration of a psychotropic drug to a child shall not, in and of itself, constitute grounds for an investigation or removal of the child by Child Protective Services. 2/06/03 To Education Committee 2/06/03
North Carolina
HB 943
Prohibits school personnel from recommending or requiring use of psychotropic drugs or central nervous system stimulants for any child. Each local board of education shall adopt and implement rules and policies on these issues. 4/08/03 Through the House 4/30/03. Referred to Senate Committee on Health and Human Resources 5/01/03
Oregon
SB 456
A kindergarten through grade 12 public school administrator, teacher, counselor or nurse may not recommend student seek a prescription for a medication that is prescribed with the intent of affecting or altering the thought processes, mood or behavior of the student. 2/17/03 Passed through Senate to House 5/23/03
Texas
HB 1070
Parent’s refusal to provide written consent for an employee of a school district to conduct a psychological exam, test, treatment or to permit a school employee to administer a psychotropic drug does not constitute neglect or abuse of a child. Any employee of a school district who uses or threatens to use a parent’s refusal as the basis for making a report concerning abuse or neglect may be subject to a Class A misdemeanor charge and a parent may bring a civil court action against the school employee. 2/24/03 To Public Education Committee 2/24/03
Texas
HB 1406
School district employee may not recommend student use a psychotropic drug or have a psychiatric evaluation, or use refusal by a parent to consent to administration of a psychotropic drug or psychiatric evaluation for a student as grounds for prohibiting the child from attending class or a school-related activity. 2/27/03 Through both the House and Senate and sent to the Governor 6/03/03
Vermont
SB 30
No school shall require a child to take psychiatric drugs as a requisite for attending school; parent or guardian may agree or disagree to allow the child to take psychiatric drugs; prohibits the unlawful possession of methylphenidate (Ritalin), with up to one year in prison or fines of up to $2,000. 1/23/03 To Senate Committee on Education 1/24/03
West Virginia
SB 122
Requires public schools to comply with provisions of federal law governing release and elicitation of certain information concerning students and their families in connection with mental or health care services. No student may be required to submit to counseling, psychiatric or psychological treatment and experimental procedures, including surveys or tests, without the parents’ informed consent. Parents have the right to exclude child from such tests/surveys based on religious, cultural, moral or political beliefs or affiliations. 1/10/03 To Senate Committee on Education 1/10/03
West Virginia
HB 2111
Prohibits teachers and other school personnel from recommending that a pupil is in need of psychiatric treatment or evaluation or psychotropic, mood altering or other mind-altering drugs. 1/10/03 To House Committee on Education 1/10/03

2004:

State Description Introduced Active Passed
United States
H.R. 1350
Prohibits State and local educational personnel from requiring a child to obtain a prescription for substances covered by the Controlled Substances Act as a condition of attending school, receiving an evaluation under IDEA, or receiving services. 03/20/03 PASSED 11/19/04
New Hampshire
HB 551
A committee to study the prescription and use of psychotropic drugs in childcare centers, preschools, and public schools. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, the refusal of a parent or other person having control of a child to administer or consent to the administration of any psychotropic drug to such child shall not, in and of itself, constitute grounds for a child to be taken into custody. 01/07/04 PASSED 06/15/04
United States
H.R. 1350
Prohibits State and local educational personnel from requiring a child to obtain a prescription for substances covered by the Controlled Substances Act as a condition of attending school, receiving an evaluation under IDEA, or receiving services. 03/20/03 PASSED 11/19/04

 

2005:

State Description Introduced Active Passed
Florida
SB 1090
Creates safeguards for parents in Florida from being coerced to put their children on dangerous psychotropic drugs or from being psychologically evaluated. March, 2005 PASSED 05/27/05
Minnesota
SF 2277
Provides that a parent’s refusal to consent to the administration of a psychotropic drug or a psychiatric examination of a student shall not be used as grounds, by itself, for prohibiting the child from attending class or participating in a school-related activity. Further, the school district must not recommend that a student use a psychotropic drug. 04/28/05 PASSED 05/05/05

 

2006:

State Description Introduced Active Passed
Utah
HB 21
Moves legal guardians, appointed to children taken from their parents, out of the courts and into the hands of the department of Health and Human Services.  This takes away the necessity of having a guardian in every single case and allows parents or a child to have their own attorney represent them without the interjection of the guardian. 12/16/05 PASSED 03/10/06
Arizona SB1324 Requires parental informed consent for mental health screening of school children. 01/24/06 PASSED 04/24/06
Georgia
SB 430
Requires full parental informed consent for mental health screening in schools 01/13/06 Senate read and referred
Alaska SB48 Schools cannot deny any student access to programs/services after a parent refuses to give their child psychiatric medication or psychiatric counseling 01/12/05 PASSED 05/08/06
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