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from the CCLE.
April 29, 2004
No Ritalin, No Education?
CCLE Announces Campaign to Return Choice to Parents
In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of American
school children diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit and
Hyperactivity Disorder), and treated with medications like Ritalin or
Adderall. In some cases, parents are reporting that school administrators
are telling them that their child may not attend school unless the child is
placed on psychostimulant drugs.
“Government benefits should not be conditioned on the use or nonuse of a
psychotropic medicine,” says Richard Glen Boire, legal counsel for the
Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics (CCLE), a nonprofit policy center
devoted to protecting freedom of thought.
The CCLE today launches “Making Choices for Children,” a national campaign
designed to call attention to this issue, and to educate parents on their
legal right to make medication decisions for their children, free of
coercion by school authorities.
While pro-Ritalin and anti-Ritalin groups have garnered most of the
attention in this debate, the CCLE hopes to bring a new perspective to the
problem – one that focuses on parental choice, rather than on the drugs
“Parents need to know that they are the ones vested with the legal power to
make medication decisions in the best interest of their children,” says CCLE
legal counsel Boire. “Some parents may decide to place their children on
Ritalin, and others may decide not to. Our campaign aims to support a
parent’s free and informed decision either way.”
To that end the CCLE plans to publish a free
Parent’s Rights Kit, which will
contain plain-language information on informed consent rights and additional
resources for parents facing coercive school medication practices in their
The CCLE is also working to educate policymakers on the problem, and
supports legislation such as the Child Medication Safety Act (HR 1170), a
bill currently before Congress that would block federal education funds from
going to schools that condition a child’s attendance on the use of a
medication like Ritalin.
To learn more, obtain helpful resources, or to get involved in returning
medication decisions to parents, visit the
Help support this campaign!!
The CCLE is happy to announce the receipt of seed funds for launching our
Making Choices for Children campaign, but we must still raise
to fully fund this project. Our work is supported entirely by
donations from private individuals and foundations. We need your
assistance in order to distribute our informative
Parent’s Rights Kit, and to get our
policy report written and into the hands of policymakers. You can help by
donating whatever you can right now!