According to attorney, John Whitehead, founder and president, of The Rutherford Institute, and author of the award-winning book, "Grasping for the Wind," TeenScreen is driven "by recommendations from President Bush's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, which has called for mental health screening for all school-aged children, including those in preschool."
"TeenScreen is sweeping across the nation," he warns, "and finding its way into our public schools."
Although these programs are touted as suicide prevention tools, Mr Whitehead notes, "they seem to have more to do with drugging children than saving lives-and they are understandably raising an outcry among parents and child advocacy groups alike."
In setting up TeenScreen in schools, the obvious beneficiary is the pharmaceutical industry, says physician and Congressman, Ron Paul (R-Tx), "eager to sell the psychotropic drugs that undoubtedly will be prescribed to millions of American school children under the new screening program."
The survey is being administered in more schools every day with its cost funded by tax dollars. According to a recent article in the Washington Post, the "state of New York plans to start screening 400,000 children a year, and the federal government is directing tens of millions of dollars to expand screening nationwide."
Parents are most upset because normal teenage feelings, thoughts and behaviors are being transformed into symptoms of mentally illness. Anti-drugging activist and records researcher, Sue Weibert, has been investigating TeenScreen steady for well over a year and managed to obtain a copy of the TeenScreen survey, which in itself was no small feat. The questions asked include the following:
(1) Have you often felt very nervous or uncomfortable when you have been with a group of children or young people - say, like in the lunchroom at school or at a party?
(2) Have you often felt very nervous when you've had to do things in front of people?
(3) Have you often worried alot before you were going to play a sport or game or do some other activity?
(4) Has there been a time when you had less energy then you usually do?
(5) Has there been a time when you felt you couldn't do anything well or that you weren't as good-looking or as smart as other people?
(6) Has there been a time when nothing was fun for you and you just weren't interested in
When Ms Weibert got the survey, she showed it to her own teenage daughter, without saying anything. Her daughter read the questions over and said: "But doesn't every kid feel that way sometimes?"
Her mother says she assured her that yes, the feelings were quite normal.
In response, this young girl hit on one of the main concerns voiced repeatedly about TeenScreen. "But what about those kids," she said, "that read that and now think there's something wrong with them?"