Using “gun violence” as its cover, the Obama administration has quietly unleashed a cache of federal dollars that will be used for testing students for signs of mental health issues in K-12 schools.
Critics say personal information scooped up in the screenings will be logged into databases that will follow the child throughout his or her academic career and beyond.
Public schools, which have increasingly taken on aspects of psychiatric clinics in recent years, will get infused with more than $150 million in federal grants to further this agenda under the auspices of Obama’s 2013 executive action titled “Now is the Time to Do Something About Gun Violence.”
Obama took the action following the Sandy Hook, Connecticut, school shooting, putting Vice President Joe Biden in charge of a task force on “gun violence.”
These are the goals that came out of Biden’s task force:
• Strengthen the background check system for gun sales
• Require background checks for all gun sales
• Pass a new, stronger ban on assault weapons
• Limit ammunition magazines to 10 rounds
• Finish the job of getting armor-piercing bullets off the streets
• Give law enforcement additional tools to prevent and prosecute gun crime
• End the freeze on gun violence research
• Make our schools safer with new resource officers and counselors, better emergency response plans and more nurturing school climates
• Ensure quality coverage of mental health treatment, particularly for young people.
The last two measures are where the mental health screenings for students come into play.
On Sept. 22, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced $99 million in new federal grants to school districts for mental health services. The money will be used “to train new mental health providers, help teachers and others recognize mental health issues in youth and connect them to help and increase access to mental health services for young people.”
On Sept. 23, the U.S. Department of Education announced another $70 million in “School Climate Transformation grants.” More than half of the money “will be used to develop, enhance, or expand systems of support for implementing evidence-based, multi-tiered behavioral frameworks for improving behavioral outcomes and learning conditions.”
The goals of such measures include “connecting[ing] children, youths, and families to appropriate services and supports,” and increasing “measures of and the ability to respond to mental health issues among school-aged youth.”
Both HHS and DOE cited Obama’s “Now is the Time” declaration as the basis for the new programs.
“The administration is committed to increasing access to mental health services to protect the health of children and communities,” Burwell said.
Of the DOE’s $70 million package, $13 million is allocated to aiding school districts in creating “high-quality school emergency plans.” Another $14 million goes toward “Project Prevent grants” for violence-plagued schools to “be used for school-based counseling services, or referrals to community-based counseling services for assistance in coping with trauma or anxiety.”
Such designs hint at broader motives and agendas, reports Professor James F. Tracy in an article for Global Research:
1) the federal government’s continued aggressive transformation of the healthcare system; and 2) psychiatry and drug manufacturers’ shared mission to persuade an increasing segment of the national and global population that it has one or more undiagnosed mental or emotional “disorders” that require analysis and treatment.
Introducing psychiatric explanations and methodologies into school environments guarantees a growing customer base for the psychiatric profession and pharmaceutical industry. Alongside government’s increasing control of healthcare, the technocratic surveillance and management of everyday thought and behavior is likewise emerging as part of what is deceptively termed ‘wellness.’
In reality such efforts ensure an ever-expanding bureaucracy, handsomely line the pockets of a select few, and further normalize a culture of learned helplessness and control within an environment that already privileges conformity as a matter of routine.
A very dangerous trend
Jane Robbins, executive director of the American Principles Project in Washington, D.C., said the federal government’s interest in testing students, not only for academic knowledge but for psychological and behavioral traits, has been a problem for some time.
“Never let a good crisis (a school shooting) go to waste, right?” Robbins told WND via email. “This appears to be part of the broader goal of focusing education less on academic knowledge and more on students’ feelings, mindsets, attitudes, etc. — so-called social and emotional learning (SEL).”
She said Education Secretary Arne Duncan is a “huge proponent of having schools and teachers focus on these kinds of things, which they are not trained for and which are only tangentially related to academic achievement.”
“It’s a very dangerous trend,” Robbins said.
Written by LEO HOHMANN
Read more at WND