Proposed Bill No. 374
January Session, 2013
|LCO No. 2001|
|Referred to Committee on PUBLIC HEALTH|
|SEN. HARP, 10th Dist.|
REP. WALKER, 93rd Dist.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:
That section 10-206 of the general statutes be amended to require (1) each pupil enrolled in public school at grades 6, 8, 10 and 12 and each home-schooled child at ages 12, 14 and 17 to have a confidential behavioral health assessment, the results of which shall be disclosed only to the child's parent or guardian, and (2) each health care provider performing a child's behavioral health assessment to complete the appropriate form supplied by the State Board of Education verifying that the child has received the assessment.
Statement of Purpose:
To provide behavioral health assessments to children.
Spotting a mental health problem early and preventing another tragedy like the recent one in Sandy Hook is important.
But as the parent of a school aged child, I find the above proposal dangerous, invasive, and outrageous.
Our well-meaning legislators want to ensure that every child whether in public school or home school, is given periodic behavioral health assessments, whether they need them or not, whether they have shown any signs of having a problem or not.
These assessments are usually given to children who have already been determined to be in need. Now even the most well behaved child would be given these tests.
The proposal is Dangerous, because the government has now created a small, “big brother” that will follow my child around for the rest of her days.
You may say that they are just children and this record won’t follow them. But if your insurance company requires records, it may or may not affect their quality of care (pre-existing condition) in the future. If your child has gone through a stressor that would affect their assessment (divorce, family job loss, housing change etc…) they may now test as an “in need child” or “problem child” as mental health professional would tell us.
The proposal is invasive because unlike health vaccinations which are administered to prevent contagious diseases, this testing requirement now goes not only into our public schools which is invasive enough, but in the case of home schoolers it is even more frightening. Homeschooling parents have chosen to have freedom of religion, freedom of nutritional choice, and freedom of educational choices, but now the government has found a way to burst through those freedoms and into their child’s life.
The proposal is outrageous because the eight simple lines are so open to interpretation on so many levels that the potential for abuse and mismanagement are huge.
This proposed piece of legislation should never leave the committee room. Call or email your representative whether they are on the public health committee or not and urge them to stop this proposal in its tracks.
*Award winning Speaker, Author, and Broadcaster Former News Anchor WNLK/WSTC WICC 600AM Host of The Wayne Winsley Program WINE 940AM