Texas State Board of Education Resolution
November 3, 2000

WHEREAS, The mission of the public education system of this state is to ensure that all Texas children have access to a quality education that enables them to achieve their potential and fully participate now and in the future in the social, economic, and educational opportunities of our state and nation; and

WHEREAS, The State Board of Education envisions in its long-range plan for public education a system of public education that is based on the fundamental principles that all students can learn, and all educators can develop the knowledge and expertise to implement programs that ensure all students can learn; and

WHEREAS, the Texas State Board of Education dedicates itself to improving the academic achievement of all students; and

WHEREAS, the responsibility of school personnel is to ensure student achievement; and

WHEREAS, only medical personnel can recommend the use of prescribed medication; and

WHEREAS, a Consensus Development Panel conducted in November 1998 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to resolve controversies surrounding Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) reported that: "there is no valid independent test for ADHD...further research is necessary to firmly establish ADHD as a brain disorder...additional efforts to validate the disorder are needed"; and

WHEREAS, the NIH Consensus Development Panel reported that stimulant drugs such as methylphenidate (Ritalin) result in "little improvement in academic or social skills," and

WHEREAS, there are documented incidences of highly negative consequences in which psychiatric prescription drugs have been utilized for what are essentially problems of discipline which may be related to lack of academic success; and

WHEREAS, up to one million school-age children in Texas are taking psychiatric drugs, and

WHEREAS, the Texas State Board of Education recognizes that there is much concern regarding the issue of diagnosis and medication and their impact on student achievement; and

WHEREAS, in its long-range plan for public education, the State Board of Education challenges students, parents and families, educators, and community leaders to participate actively in making their schools safe learning environments; and

WHEREAS, this plan further states that ensuring safety for Texas public education will take nothing short of a coordinated effort by the state and each community to keep violence, prevent the abuse of prescription and illicit drugs, and disruptive behavior out of schools; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the State Board of Education does hereby urge all local school district boards of trustees and superintendents to become aware of and concerned about the use of psychotropic drugs in their schools, and to determine the extent to which such drugs are in use in their schools, and the current processes by which such drugs are being prescribed for the students; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the State Board of Education encourage local boards and superintendents to require local school personnel to use proven academic and/or management solutions to resolve behavior, attention, and learning difficulties. The State Board of Education suggests that programs such as tutoring, vision testing, phonics, nutritional guidance, medical examinations, allergy testing, standard disciplinary procedures, and other remedies known to be effective and harmless, be recommended to parents as their options; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the State Board of Education urge local school personnel to respect the exclusive authority of physicians to make psychiatric diagnoses of behavioral problems, recommend psychiatric screening for specific behavioral problems, and suggest the use of psychiatric medication for a student; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the State Board of Education recommend that each local school district implement a special policy with regard to storing and distribution of psychoactive drugs; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the State Board of Education urges local school boards to adopt and implement a policy that requires prescription medications dispensed on school property be administered by a medical practitioner licensed by the state to dispense medication; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the State Board of Education encourages greater communication and education among parents, educators, and medical professionals about the effects of psychotropic drugs on student achievement and our ability to provide a safe and civil learning environment.

WITNESS our signatures this third day of November, two thousand, in Austin, Texas.

Chase Untermeyer, Chair

Rosie Collins Sorrells, Ed.D., Secretary