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An Overview of State Legislation and Initiatives

In 2001 five state legislatures had ADHD and school-related
issues on their dockets:

Connecticut and New Jersey

Their state legislatures have proposed laws prohibiting school personnel from recommending the use of psychotropic medications to any student and/or their families.


A proposed bill mandates that the state determine how many children are taking amphetamine prescription drugs, and it prohibits both school personnel and physicians from administering amphetamine until alternative strategies and services have been considered.


This state has a proposed law which says that parents are legally entitled to a second opinion about their child's medical treatment. The law was initially drafted for parents who refuse to give their child psychotropic drugs and are subsequently charged with neglect. The proposed measure was broadened to include all medical courses of treatment recommended by a doctor.


On February 24, 2001, the state legislature passed a bill that aims to establish a joint subcommittee to examine the relationship between ADHD and student performance.

Actions and Iniatives in Other States:


The State Board of Education conducted public hearings regarding the use of psychotropic medications in schools, and later urged the legislature to study the relationship between school violence and controlled prescription drugs.


After the legislature conducted public hearings, State Senator David Peterson introduced this legislation, which would have prohibited school employees from providing psychiatric diagnoses or administering any psychiatric examinations. The bill was held up in committee and never voted on by the full Arizona Senate.


In 2000, the state adopted legislation that would require its state board of education to adopt regulations concerning the administration of medicine to public school students.


In November 1999, the Colorado State Board of Education voted on a resolution to promote non-medication solutions for behavioral problems in schools. Though the resolution passed, it does not eliminate the use of all psychotropic medicine in schools. It does, however, send a strong message to school administrators saying, in part, that "... psychiatric prescription drugs have been utilized for what are essentially problems of discipline."


After the State Board of Education held public hearings on the matter, the state has established an Advisory Council on ADHD.


The state legislature has conducted two hearings on the issue.


The Texas State School Board issued a non-binding resolution outlining the preferred substitutes for medication and behavioral therapy, such as vision testing and nutritional guidance.

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