Texans For Safe Education (TFSE) is a citizens group whose purpose is to defend the safety of children in our schools. We see grave harm being done by our society's current decision to give psychiatric drugs to an estimated 1,000,000 of our school-age children in Texas. TFSE is aware that child psychiatric diagnoses such as ADHD, other "disruptive behavior disorders," bipolar and depression have not been scientifically demonstrated to be legitimate medical illnesses. We consider subsequent use of psychiatric drugs with children to be based, therefore, not in science but in fraud. We view psychiatric labeling as unnecessary stigmatization, false explaining away of real problems, and abdication of adult responsibility to keep thinking and express the necessary will and resolve to meet our children's needs by addressing these problems. We think that psychiatric drugs are directly harmful and dangerous, physically and psychologically, to the children who take them. We think they are also dangerous to everyone else because of effects on school climate and relationships, because of the large incidence of illegal and recreational use of these drugs, and because of the proven "side" effects of agitation, aggression and violence.
Texans For Safe Education knows that there are better solutions available, and calls on our caring and committed parents, educators, and allied professionals to demand a positive focus on finding ways to implement these methods. We especially encourage a strong focus on proven methods for enhancing learning, especially reading fluency and comprehension. As a group, we think that human resource is the key to meeting our children's needs in the schools. Societal resources should be spent on better pay for well-prepared teachers working with lower student-teacher ratios.
Statement of Purpose
- Protect our children from the harmful effects of psychiatric drugs.
- Safeguard our schools from violence related to psychiatric drug use.
- Educate parents and educators about the fraud of psychiatric diagnosis and treatment.
- Empower parents and educators to "say no" to psychiatric drug use with children.
- Encourage educators to refocus on proven methods to enhance learning.
- Support educators by investing resources in teacher training, salaries and lower student-teacher ratios.
State Board of Education Action in 2000
Inspired by the work of Patti Johnson and others in Colorado, one of our first successful initiatives, in the year 2000, was to encourage the Texas State Board Of Education to pass a resolution supporting parents and educators in their right to say no to the psychiatric labeling and drugging of children in the schools. We also wanted the Board to emphasize a positive focus on proven methods for meeting the educational needs of our children. Here is the successful result, and a subsequent press release and editorial:
Here is my own testimony at the hearing:
Here are a few of the documents we produced to use in that yearlong effort:
Historic Legislation in Texas in 2003
Another major action took place in 2003, when we took our message to the halls of the Texas legislature. However great the State Board of Education resolution is as a statement, it is non-binding. So we wanted the sentiment in law! We were successful in that Texas passed two historic pieces of legislation protecting children and families in Texas schools and in the Child Protective Services system. This was our call to action:
And here are the results:
Another result was a 2004 special hearing on psychotropic drugs in foster care, held by Committee Chair Suzanna Hupp, who was working to reform the CPS system in Texas. Here is my testimony:
2009 Texas Legislative Initiatives
Our efforts have continued over the years. In the legislative domain, it has taken tremendous energy to fight off state efforts in 2005, 2007 and 2009 to implement various versions of mental health screening. Here are a couple of my general statements to the legislature in 2007 and 2009, respectively:
And here is some of what we attempted in 2009. Although we did stop the mental health screening again, we had less success with the positive initiatives. We did get a study version of HB 2163 passed into law. Here are some of the handouts we used in our efforts:
-Suicide Prevention: Mental Health Screening Revisited Oppose SB 84 and SB 85
-Help protect Medicaid children from poisoning by antipsychotic drugs (HB 2163)
-Help protect Youth in the juvenile justice system from psychotropic drugging (HB 3127)
-Help protect Foster children from polypharmic psychiatric drugging (HB 3662)
Parental Consent Act of 2009
Here is an up to the moment statement supporting Congressman Ron Paul's effort to pass related federal legislation, called the Parental Consent Act:
Please call TOLL FREE 1-800-572-2905 to obtain a packet of information you can use as a group in your own area. Also, please call to report grievances and bad experiences with the use of psychiatric drugs in the schools.
John Breeding · 5306 Fort Clark Dr., Austin, TX 78745· 512-326-8326 voice
E-mail Dr. Breeding at: firstname.lastname@example.org