Friday, January 25, 2008

ADHD and Drugs.

One of the major contributing costs in education is special education. The following article was sent to us by a school board member that should be of interest to all.

I recently made a short presentation to our board and admin about “behavioral disorders”, such as ADHD, and
the drugs used to treat such conditions. I took the D-26 specific stuff out and put the presentation
. What drove this was a review of our policy on staff development (5:100 for IASB PRESS subscribers), which by law requires government school certified staff be trained as amateur pharmacists every two years (105 ILCS 5/10-20.36).

I checked out the training our teachers received two years ago, and found a slide that said (among other things), “Evidence that medications work, and that they are not dangerous, is overwhelming.” They were talking about Ritalin, Adderall, and other drugs the DEA categorizes in Schedule II (along with cocaine and morphine). The statement is a lie, the evidence is not overwhelming, and is closer to the opposite.

Our Special Services Director was receptive to my concerns. Check out what your district does about “behavioral disorders”, whether your district pushes drugs, and what your employees are being told about behavioral disorders (and global warming, and any other controversial issues). A year and a half ago, my daughter after one of her first days in 5th grade and
told me that global warming was real (her teacher told her so).

We discussed my presentation at a recent Policy committee meeting. The result was that we modified our policy on Staff Development to say that staff training in controversial issues would be treated with the same guidelines used when our students are taught about controversial issues. Now all we have to do is monitor it for compliance. Our updated policy is here
. Our Special Services Director also agreed with my assessment of the 2006 training noted above, and is developing a more balanced presentation for our teachers on ADHD and drugs for this year.

-- Chris

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