This is long But important regarding EVERY child's education in Florida! Speak up or your state WILL be next!
The Florida Department of Education has mandated a YEARLY FIVE hour course in metal health for grades 6-12 - it is written as a course in the statute. This is an idea that Desantis' wife came up with and was given to Corcoran at the FLDOE in spring 2019. It was passed by the FLDOE as a separate statute and NEVER went before the state legislature to create an actual course with rules like parental notification and opt out, need to protect every minor student's rights under FERPA, HIPPA and IDEA when an adult is not present to agree to these medical/psychological issues from being discussed in public or on an assignment etc. It has to be implemented this year and Orange County school board has just revealed and approved their plan without notifying parents or teachers to be present to voice their objections. Orange County will be forcing teachers without any certification amendment on their teachers certificate to "teach" 5 hours of mental health education and it involves computerized lessons and role play and even written lessons involving no parental authorization for minor children to be allowed to discuss their own and their family medical and mental health histories. These lessons will be "SAVED" - what does that mean? Will answers be kept as part of a child's record permanently to be used if they need to be disciplined or act up? Do any of the parents in Florida want these mental health activities that include questions that would be screening for problems left in a "SAVED" location that is not specified? I think not!
Take action now!
Who is Desantis' wife - she is a reporter and WHY is she making school policy for your children??? Who is Corcoran - the politician from Canada that Floridians rejected for governor so what did Desantis do - he snuck him into control over your kid's education! Who did Desantis say he would consult on education - Jeb Bush who may be behind these liberal ideas that strip away parental rights! What's next - children making their own decisions about vaccines, transition drugs and even medical privacy for minor to obtain birth control etc??????
Everyone pass this on and start calling Tallahassee and tell Desantis that stripping away parental rights is UNACCEPTABLE!
Call Desantis legislative office here: 850/488-5000
and also call your state senator and say no vote in November if they don't support parents and children
Contact your local school board member and demand the curriculum , every assignment and if you were never notified of this program ask for the permission slip for participation and opt out forms!!!!!
Write Trump and tell him that if Desantis and other republicans keep stripping away parental rights and shoving social engineering into our schools then he loses your vote! Demand that Betsy Devos STOPS this at the federal level and gets rules in place to teach needed subjects like math, science, english and US History https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
Just like Obamacare, once your rights are stripped away for the collective, you will NEVER get them back!!!!! And NEVER turn your back on a politician with friends like Jeb who tells you they are conservative!
I have called every member of the FL senate education committee today and they were unaware of this happening. Senator Perry's office is very interested in investigating why this happened without notifying the legislators so PLEASE call their office and insist that this be stopped and that any courses NEED to be taught only by teachers with a mental health certification on their teaching certificate and the course be only for students who receive a parental consent and all course materials be reviewed with parents before they sign the consent form.This will be "taught" to your child yearly from 6-12 grades and in some districts from kindergarten. Is "saved" work going to be compared from year to year - are these children actually being screened yearly without parental consent? even to take a school eye exam, parental permission must be obtained BUT a mental health yearly "screening" course does not - who at the governor's office and FLDOE does not understand parental rights for medical/psychological care of a minor? And new state law mandates that all psychological records follow your child from school to school so are there "saved" papers that will keep your child from a security clearance job or even college admission when it is released?
These legislators will be up for election in November and if they are overwhelmed with angry parents this will end quickly!
Problem:1. Unqualified teachers with NO mental health training will be evaluating these forms and "reporting" any children whose answers are deemed troubling. Teachers could be sued for not reporting correctly so they will err on caution and huge numbers of children will be referred to the school psychologists and mental health counselors without a parental consent or choice of person treating their child. There are now OSS police officers on each school district who will be given this private, possibly incorrectly referred information on your child to "hold" in their files and can be shared with the local police sheriffs based on wrong information from an unqualified source.
2. Parents are NOT being notified that their children are participating in these activities or shown what information is being obtained from their children. Children in role play or a short answer could be asked questions and if their answers include any information which even slightly implies a parent hit or possible abuse, that teacher MUST report every single possible potential case of abuse to DCF. So your child who doesn't understand that words mater writes my dad hit me really hard and your getting reported. Some kid in role play fools around and says they were abused by their parent as a little kid and that parent is getting reported to DCF. These kids are not going to be told and they are not old enough to understand that every word they write can have dire implications - they are kids.
3. Teachers who know they are unqualified can NOT refuse to teach this class - it will be considered insubordination and they can lose their jobs. They need the support of parents and groups like you to stand up to Desantis, Corcoran and the Florida legislature and say STOP NOW a school's role is to teach NOT socially engineer and psychologically analyze my children each year for 5 hours that is important teaching time. It's not like the state scores are so wonderful that there is unlimited time to be wasted.
4.Many school districts are moving the teaching back to kindergarten and including ALL children. Do all you parents really want your child psychologically screened and all of your family problems, medical and psychological history being "stored" for 12 school years and then "stored" for the rest of your lives. Teachers already have rules in place that students must do assignments and fully participate in class yet in this case EVERY student needs to be educated that federal HIPPA laws and IDEA in the case of learning disabled kids protects their right to privacy and NO teacher, administrator or even mental health professional has a right to ask for their private, protected medical and psychological past and present history or family history. And every parent NEEDS to be shown EVERY assignment to be able to make decisions about what information they will allow their children to "share" with teachers and any mental health professionals that will get their work.
5. Teachers like to "share" student information. They talk at home and to administrators and other teachers and friends who may have kids in a school. These "sessions" can NOT be shared in public because they contain private protected medical and psychological information. How is the school board, Desantis, FLDOE and even the legislature going to guarantee that teachers and administrators who violate HIPPA are punished. medical personnel loses their license for violating these laws there NEED to be law changes to hols teachers and aides, etc accountable. Look at Mr. Gard in Parkland who was allowed to discuss ESE student records with the media. he is NOT a witness in the trial so he was talking about a different ESE yet received NO punishment for revealing private, protected medical information on a student. FDOE will NOT interfere in these problems even though they are responsible for teacher certification. Teachers are professional and the law should be changed to include language to remove a certificate for this type of violation especially if every teacher is now a certified mental health professional by their determination.
6. No teacher can diagnose a learning disability. Parental permission is needed for every student needing screening for a learning disability. Some districts like Washington County are using only mental health professionals to do these "LESSONS" Washington County has included a parental consent form BUT if you go to their site, the form states ESE parental consent. IF this is the form being handed to every parent it is totally deceptive because parents will think "my kid isn't ESE so I can sign it" BUT in reality they just signed their child's life away. And I guess this allows any psychological problems to be immediately shared with ALL of the agencies listed. And a form you sign and don't remember just allowed them to "share" things from middle school with every college they apply to in the future! Parental Permission for Release of Information or Request for Revie...
Look at the endless departments and outside agencies including college admissions that these forms can be sent to. What your child jokingly writes in 6th grade could ruin their adult career choices and you would have NEVER even realized this document was in their records!
Here is the full list of each county and what they are doing http://www.fldoe.org/schools/healthy-schools/HealthEducationPlans.stml
There are actually sections for substance abuse and human trafficking that are taking away even more hours of learning so when every kid's EOC scores drop don't blame the teachers - they have had hours of teaching time taken away! It's evidently more important for a 5 year old to learn about prostitution than to learn to read!
7. There is NO requirement that a parent be notified first about any concerning answers or concerning comments made. Will there only be direct notification of the school mental health counselor/safe coordinator? will the parents be the last to know and possibly never know? This activity on a campus of 3300 students will result in huge numbers of referrals so children who have been triggered and need attention will be lost in a bureaucratic mess. Legislators NEED to make parental notification top priority and parents have the legal right as their guardian to determine what provider treats their children. Legislators NEED to put parental consent and right to choose the medical and psychological treatment of their children FIRST and immediately stop this random teaching, screening and reporting process with immediate referral to school psychologists that are known to not be the best qualified providers and that has no safeguards and protections of EVERY American's rights under HIPPA and right to choose who treats your child. Are their universal rules in place to also notify the parent in writing of the full incident, actions taken and their immediate access to their children's record to read what has permanently and potentially wrongly stated in their record because an unqualified teacher erred on the side of caution and there was actually nothing to be concerned about? Stripping parents of their parental rights is NOT acceptable.
8. Parents need to be immediately told what information is being "stored", where it is being "stored" and what is being done to protect their children's private medical and psychological information. Assignments on school issued computers can be improperly and only partially erased and the next person who is issued the computer can actually possibly access a family's private, protected medical information. Medical providers must have added layers of protection for electronic medical records and yet NO legal requirement for school districts to fix their security levels. And we all have heard stories of these school systems getting hacked and breached. Most schools use open bins to discard papers and recycle yet these papers can NEVER be thrown in a common bin where private information is accessible - each school NEEDS a secure, locked box in each room and a secure shredding system like what is used at hospitals to protect medical/psychological information. All ESE records are now stored in locked rooms to protect student medical and psychological and learning disability records so ANY "stored" assignments NEED to be kept in locked, secure locations.
9. These are NOT courses required to graduate so what are the consequences for not attending, not participating or refusing to do assignments? Will a student not participating be FORCED to participate just like teachers are being FORCED to teach this?
10. Some of these courses are being taught in science class or english class. What rules have been put in place to make sure that questions on these subjects are not making their way into a science or English assignment? For example, a rape question just appeared on a test in Texas. Was that because those teachers are being forced to teach these other subjects and they are merging the 2 subjects that should NEVER be merged together?
11. Unqualified people role playing or implementing assignments can cause more harm to people than good yet those students affected may never speak up and that parent may not be aware this happened to watch for signs of suicidal ideation or self harm. Where are the studies that unqualified people randomly administering mental health strategies with no knowledge of how to properly discuss sensitive subjects or have no education in how to react to situations correctly results in safer schools????? What are the long term effects of students watching their friends be forced into the school psychologists office or their parent investigated by DCF for a sentence they wrote - does this forced assignment strategy actually decrease children asking for help when they need it because they have been taught over years to distrust school staff? Teachers who are not certified in mental health will not be taught how to properly deal with statements and situations that arise and may minimize or avoid subjects and this could potentially harm a student rather than help. There's a reason that mental health certification at FDOE requires a master's degree!
12. Teachers are NOT mental health counselors and think like teachers. You can't put them in an hour training and expect them to change their way of thinking one hour a day. They like to hand up assignments and pass them across students so multiple students could potentially "by accident" have access to your child's private medical and psychological information. Before your child leaves the room, his information can be spread to other students causing more harm than if the class never happened. If a student thinks the role play session is a place to freely reveal family problems, medical and psychological issues and it will all be done maintaining privacy -it won't be. These are children who can repeat this online to all their friends and family because there is NO guarantee of confidentiality. This can turn into a very destructive class when unqualified mental health professionals teach it! Also if a student is really upset about a family member with cancer and that family member wants the diagnosis kept private, this class could end up with a neighbor's kid hearing this private medical information and repeating it at home and the whole neighborhood then knows someone's private medical issues. Same with a parent or dsibling who may have a psychological condition that a minor could reveal in one of these sessions without even understanding the consequences of their statements. Same with someone who has a relative with HIV, STD etc. Do you as a parent want your child's teacher to know about your medical and psychological history or even a divorce you are going through - it's NONE of the school's business unless you as an adult feel the need to disclose it! Other students do not need to know the medications your child may be taking. even state drug surveys are anonymous to protect privacy!
This is the state certification guidelines for each subject area. This is a required "class" that must meet the same requirements of certification. Yet NO teacher has an added certification subject of mental health to be certified to teach this class to your children! Scroll down to Professional Service areas and state requirements are that a master's degree is needed for school psychologist, school counseling and school social work. NONE of the teachers across the state teaching this class to your children have the required teaching credentials required by state law and none of the teachers have passed the necessary subject area tests to show proficiency to receive these state teaching certificates so WHY are these rules being waived and unqualified teachers now being FORCED to teach these classes????? Would you want a teacher certified in elementary education to be teaching your high schooler math or science? Would you want a teacher certified in sign language to be teaching English or science?
14 For any teachers in your group. This IS classified as a class and you do NOT have the proper certification for teaching this. This sets you up for lawsuits from parents who can sue you for NOT noticing a statement or clue and the child then goes and harms themselves or someone else. This sets you up for lawsuits from parents who will be forced to spend thousands of dollars to get their child properly tested by a private psychologist to remove an improper "diagnosis" from their child's permanent record because you erred on the side of caution and improperly diagnosed a problem that didn't exist. A psychiatrist will tell the parents who was the person who wrongly identified a psychiatric or mental health problem and then the parents will have documentation of your wrong actions to bring suit against you. And yes you are being forced to teach a subject you are unqualified to teach but as every nurse is taught - if you know something is outside your scope of practice but choose to do it anyway then you are putting yourself in the path of a lawsuit! Lack of knowledge of a subject but then taking the assignment or being FORCED to teach the assignment is no excuse in a court of law before a jury of your peers to get off. So put your house and savings in a spouses' name because the area of psychology is one of the highest areas of lawsuits in the medical profession for a reason and 2 sessions will NOT make you an expert. And I was forced to teach it will not convince a jury to take your side over grieving parents!
15. After you read each district plan above, there is NO unity. These are pieced together courses not even being implemented in only 6-12th as required. Does a kindergarten student need to learn skills to succeed on mandated state and county tests so they do not develop test anxiety and a sense of failure? This lowers success because they are not receiving enough hours of instruction in core courses. If these elementary students are so knowledgeable, this extra time should be used to develop social skills through play and playground time NOT sit and role play or discuss mental health problems that they don't even know exist.
16. And every parent needs to understand that a simple statement from your child like my mom hits me requires by law that the teacher report that parent to DCF. even id your child is joking, you get reported. How many parents will we flood wrongly into DCF because of minor children acting like children and using the wrong words because of their lower vocabulary that then will be required to be reported and investigated?
I can keep going.You have more access to Desantis than I do. Desantis never thinks through his ideas and under everyone's noses, EVERY parent in Florida has been stripped of their federal rights to medical and psychological privacy. I have put a huge scare into the state senators on the education committee who didn't even know this happened. I NEED you and others who are leading the charge to keep parents in control of their children's schooling to start speaking up in volumes. The education committees are in session now and a huge outrage will get them to act immediately. Perry's aide was going to look up the FDOE code passed and start making calls to Corcoran's office. Overwhelm his office with every parent and grandparent across the state! EVERY PTA needs to know - no notices are being sent home so this is literally being put in place without parental input. Orange County starts in 2 weeks, no training of teachers yet so will be last minute and parents need to contact school board members and demand lessons, parental consent forms and opt out forms. Don't complain when parents start getting referred to DCF for their students' statements - STOP it now! Don't complain when a student is suddenly put in a threat assessment meeting wrongly - STOP it Now!
Remember once this becomes fully implemented this year it will never go away and you have been stripped of your parental rights by Desantis' wife - a reporter not elected and who has NO background in medical/psychological issues or the workings of the educational system and mandated testing to graduate. Will 5 fewer hours of teaching in math, science, english and history lower the EOC scores and deny a student a diploma - that is a real possibility and that will cause more damage children's self esteem and feeling of well being than sitting for 5 hours writing answers to unrevealed questions on mental health.
Parents, grandparents and EVERYONE NEEDs to unite and say NO - the FLDOE and governor's office does NOT unilaterally determine and screen my child for anything without my permission and any assignment revealing medical/psychological information of a minor MUST be reviewed and approved by EVERY parent and legal guardian and the use, storage of that information MUST be fully disclosed to me so I can make an informed decision whether to approve my child's participation. We've had several school incidents this year and Senator Perry's office did not know if these mental health sessions actually triggered the increase in incidents. Doctors have a motto - Do no harm. Desantis, his unelected wife and Corcoran with NO educational or medical/psychological background have interfered in parental issues and the private medical system and have forced unqualified teachers into situations where they can definitely do MORE harm than good! Stand up and say STOP!