Of course, nowadays parents are made to feel guilty for disciplining their children. There can even be hell to pay if complaints are lodged with social services agencies. So we opt instead to medicate. Medicate the child whose eyes glaze during science class. Medicate the child who displays a little too much childlike exuberance. Medicate him. Medicate her. Medicate everyone.
According to the National Institutes of Health, more than a million children are being prescribed psychotropic drugs to help control their behavior. Some of those children will suffer serious side effects as a result of a faulty diagnosis of ADHD. Others, like Mathew, will die.
Against this backdrop, it is imperative that we pass legislation prohibiting teachers and other unqualified school personnel from making mental health diagnosis. Lawmakers also need to ensure that children receive thorough medical exams to rule out other possible causes of unruly behavior. Equally important is that parents receive full disclosure of the dangerous side effects of the psychotropic drugs being prescribed to their children.
Very simply, our schools should not be co-opted by drug companies. Nor should the minds of our youth be so carelessly tossed on the psychiatric assembly line.