Responding to parents who have been pressured by school officials to
place their child on a psycho-stimulant like Ritalin or be barred from
attending school, Congress has passed precedent-setting legislation
protecting parental choice.
After several failed efforts, including the
Child Medication Safety Act, Congress has amended the
Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) to add a specific
section prohibiting "mandatory medication" in schools. The Act was signed
into law on December 4, 2004.
Titled "Prohibition on Mandatory Medication Amendment," the amendment
requires state and local authorities to implement policies that prohibit
public school's from conditioning a child's education on the use Ritalin or
any other controlled substance.
The relevant section reads:
(25) PROHIBITION ON MANDATORY MEDICATION-
`(A) IN GENERAL- The State educational agency shall prohibit State
and local educational agency personnel from requiring a child to obtain a
prescription for a substance covered by the Controlled Substances Act (21
U.S.C. 801 et seq.) as a condition of attending school, receiving an
evaluation under subsection (a) or (c) of section 614, or receiving
services under this title.
`(B) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION- Nothing in subparagraph (A) shall be
construed to create a Federal prohibition against teachers and other
school personnel consulting or sharing classroom-based observations with
parents or guardians regarding a student's academic and functional
performance, or behavior in the classroom or school, or regarding the need
for evaluation for special education or related services under paragraph
Read the complete text of
Public Law 108-446.
While the IDEA act has many provisions which the
Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics views unfavorably, we are very
pleased with the above sections that block coercive medication practices by
schools that receive federal funding.