August 3, 2006

Beware of Intrusive ‘Health Screenings’

Children in Utah public schools face yet another danger: suicide screening. TeenScreen, a national organization whose goal includes having mental check-ups for all of the nation’s youth, has been using public schools as an avenue for finding youth to screen under their Mental Health Screening program.

This screening is given to children as young as 9 years old and raises questions such as: Have you thought seriously about trying to kill yourself? Do you think often of killing yourself? Have you tried to kill yourself? These children agree to the screen for rewards of gift certificates for movies, food, parties, or clothing. Often parents are not asked or even told if their child is screened.

In addition to troublesome topics being raised, the screening is highly inaccurate, with many false positives resulting. Consequently, children are treated for having mental health problems which they do not, in reality, have.

Through schooling your children at home, you are able to keep them from unwanted and unknown exposure to issues they do not need to handle at this time. I urge you to keep alert for possible imposition of health screening on all children so that this type of screening will not be given to homeschooled children.