News for Colorado Schools

Pueblo School District Fails To Explicitly Prohibit Teachers From Pushing Psychiatric Drugs

Policy Protecting Schoolchildren Has Been Required By State Law Since 2003

Pueblo City Schools is apparently in no hurry to adopt policy safeguarding children that has been required by state law since 2003.

An examination of Pueblo City Schools Board policy by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights of Colorado (CCHR) found that the School Board is in violation of state law by not having adopted policy explicitly prohibiting school personnel from recommending or requiring psychiatric drugs for any student.

CCHR first brought the noncompliance to the attention of the office of Superintendent Maggie Lopez on June 6, following guidelines set by the Colorado Department of Education.  Since that time, agendas for the school district’s Board of Education meetings – including the meeting scheduled for this evening – have not included any mention of action on adoption of this policy.

Several readings of a policy are required at Board of Education meetings before it can be adopted for Pueblo City Schools.  Thus, it appears that some 23,000 schoolchildren in the district will be starting yet another school year without this statutory protection in place.

C.R.S. 22-32-109(1)(ee) requires school district Boards of Education to adopt policy “to prohibit school personnel from recommending or requiring the use of a psychotropic drug for any student.”

The law further requires policy that “School personnel shall not test or require a test for a child’s behavior without prior written permission from the parents or guardians or the child and prior written disclosure as to the disposition of the results or the testing therefrom.”

The law was passed by the Colorado State Legislature eight years ago to protect against teachers, principals and other school personnel pressuring parents to put their children on psychiatric drugs.  These mind-altering drugs carry dangerous, even life-threatening side effects.  (Adverse reactions to psychiatric drugs, as detailed in research studies, warnings from international regulatory authorities and reports to the FDA, can be accessed through CCHR International’s psychiatric drug side effect search engine.)

Psychiatric drugs also do not address the real, underlying problem(s) the child is experiencing, which may be a lack of additional instructional help, poor nutrition, or an undiagnosed physical condition.

CCHR has sent Colorado Open Records Act requests to school districts throughout the state, requesting copies of the policy or policies that comply with this state law.

To date, CCHR has identified 21 school districts that did not have Board policy with the clear language of C.R.S. 22-32-109(1)(ee).  Twenty of the 21 districts indicated to CCHR that steps were immediately being taken to remedy the long-standing non-compliance with state law.

Only Pueblo City Schools has been vague about when it will adopt the required statutory language.

Pueblo is home to the psychiatric drugging center known as the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo.

Because a response from the superintendent was unclear as to when Pueblo Schools will act to bring its policy into compliance with the 2003 law, CCHR forwarded a complaint directly to the president of the Pueblo City Schools Board of Education, again following guidelines set by the Colorado Department of Education.

If you or someone you know has been pressured by school personnel to put a child on psychiatric drugs, we want to talk to you.  You can contact us privately by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225. All information will be kept in the strictest confidence. We welcome your comments on this article below.

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