Using the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre as its justification, the Obama administration has recently given the psychiatric business and pharmaceutical industry a major gift by quietly introducing a behavioral and mental health program in public schools throughout the United States.
In an under-reported section of “Now is the Time“ titled “Making Schools Safer” and “Improving Mental Health Services” for students. One is left to consider the long range implications of the psychopharmaceutical complex’s never-ending drive to expand its clientele.
On September 22, 2014 Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced $99 million in new grants “to train new mental health providers, help teachers and others recognize mental health issues in youth and connect them to help and increase access to mental health services for young people.”
On September 23rd., the Department of Education announced an additional $70 million in “School Climate Transformation grants.” According to the DOE, over half of the funding “will be used to develop, enhance, or expand systems of support for implementing evidence based, multi-tiered behavioral frameworks for improving behavioral outcomes and learning conditions.”
The goals of such measures include “connecting children, youths, and families to appropriate services and supports,” and “increasing measures of and the ability to respond to mental health issues among school-aged youth.”
The mass media has blacked out the Obama administration’s program which transforms our nation’s public schools in to lucrative referral centers for big psychopharma.
ProPublica’s disturbing report on hundreds of kids being restrained by police & school staff across the country, see below:
Hundreds of kids are being injured, some seriously, each year during restraints or seclusions, according to govt. reports and advocates. Parents have powerful stories to tell. Most of restraints and seclusions happen to kids with disabilities– and are more likely to happen to kids with autism or emotional/behavioral problems. Add psychiatric problems to the growing list of reasons to drug, restrain & arrest kids.
Even a skeptic can see how public schools are being turned into a quasi-prison full of drug addicted kids with criminal records.
Defending searches of school kids, Michigan security director says “Every school has drugs in it, this is one of our ways to control that,” Charlie Brown, Rockford Public Schools security director, said of canine searches at the district’s middle and high schools. “We believe it works.”
“It turns students into suspects in a place where we should be nurturing them and focusing on their learning,” said Marc Allen, of the ACLU of Michigan. “There are ways to do a search that are more narrow and don’t implicate people’s privacy rights.”
What’s next full body-cavity searches for America’s students?
Click here to read more.
Both HHS and DOE explicitly cite Obama’s Now is the Time declaration as rationale for the new programs. “The administration is committed to increasing access to mental health services to protect the health of children and communities,” Secretary Burwell asserts. “If kids don’t feel safe, they can’t learn,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan similarly remarks. “Through these grants of more than $70 million, we are continuing our commitment to ensure that kids have access to the best learning experience possible.”
Of the DOE’s $70 million, $13 million is allocated to aiding school districts in creating “high-quality school emergency plans.” Another $14 million goes toward “Project Prevent grants” for violence-plagued schools to “be used for school-based counseling services, or referrals to community-based counseling services for assistance in coping with trauma or anxiety.”
The US government’s continued aggressive transformation of the healthcare system, is beyond disturbing.
Psychiatry& drug manufacturers’ shared mission is to persuade an increasing segment of the population that it has one or more undiagnosed mental or emotional “disorders” that require analysis and treatment.
Why else would they introduce psychiatric explanations and methodologies into school environments? It guarantees them a growing customer base for the psychiatric profession and pharmaceutical industry.
The HHS and DOE announced their mental health grants two weeks before National Depression Screening Day on October 9th. The occasion for “mental health awareness” has been observed since the early 1990s by Screening for Mental Health, Inc., a nonprofit 501c offering its own free online examination.
“People stop and they check in on their physical health but they don’t do the same with their mental health,” says Michelle Holmberg, director of programs at SMH. “In the same way you would get a blood pressure screening … why aren’t people stopping to do mental health screenings?”
Federal bills to curtail the use of restraints/seclusion have stalled. Bills sponsored by U.S. Rep. George Miller and Senator Tom Harken have been opposed by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and the National School Boards Association with strong Congressional Republican support.
“AASA refuses to accept the idea,” the American Association of School Administrators wrote in a 2012 position paper it still supports, “that public school employees are over-using seclusion and restraint and/or using it inappropriately.”
Click here to meet the groups fighting against limits on restraining kids in schools.
Clueless parents aren’t aware schools are spying on students’ online behavior:
In a recent blog post in the New York Times, Barnes said data collection is not just about attendance, grades, disciplinary records and learning aptitudes.
“Data gathering includes health, fitness and sleeping habits, sexual activity, prescription drug use, alcohol use and disciplinary matters. Students attitudes, sociability and even ‘enthusiasm’ are quantified, analyzed, recorded and dropped into giant data systems,” she wrote.
Add to that anything that might suggest a student is a threat. Gaggle, a “Human Monitoring Service” (HMS) vendor to schools, says on its website that it, “discovers millions of inappropriate words and images in student email, text messages, discussion boards, email attachments and computer files, leading to thousands of warnings sent to school district administrators and law enforcement every year.”
All that monitoring, Gaggle says, still complies with, “all U.S. privacy and safety laws, particularly those involving children. These include the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).”
Rob Yoegel, vice president of marketing at Gaggle, said the company monitors only email accounts “issued by the schools,” but noted that if a student sends an email from a private account to a school-issued account, which happens frequently, “then we would see that.”
Yoegel said it is up to school districts to notify students of monitoring of those accounts. He said Gaggle notifies school districts of “questionable content, which we define as not promoting digital citizenship.”
Rebecca Herold, CEO of The Privacy Professor and a former middle- and high-school math teacher, said that higher protection should include parental control over, “data collected about teens and children through tracking devices and areas outside the school’s responsibility.”
Privacy advocates agree that schools have a legitimate and necessary interest in ensuring the safety of children in school and at school activities. But concerns about activities or relationships outside of school should be addressed, “with the parents or guardians of the specific student in question,” Herold said, arguing that blanket monitoring, “is a huge invasion of all students’ privacy, and complete disregard of parent/guardian wishes.
“Much of the data that may be collected by schools through connected devices students use, such as smartphones and tablets, is absolutely none of the school’s business,” she said.
“Thousands of schools are doing pretty much anything they want to with student data, unless there are state or local laws prohibiting such uses – and there are very few of these,” she said.