Thursday, April 26, 2007

STUDENT PRIVACY LAW & Dr. Shern

Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa. is reported by the Associated Press to think that "There are many examples where information was not released to parents or guardians regarding a student's mental health, which led to miscommunications and withholding of vital information that would have prevented suicides, assaults and other crimes." In the same article David Shern, President & CEO of Mental Health America (formerly the National Mental Health Association) is quoted as saying "Murphy's plan sounds reasonable, but he would like to see the specifics." All of this is a reaction to the murders at Virginia Tech.

The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 says parents can be notified if the student consents. Let me ask you? How old are most college students? How old do you have to be to enlist in the military and go get blown up in a war Murphy probably voted for? How old do you have to be to get an abortion without parental consent? Dr. Shern shame on you for even heading down this road with Rep. Murphy. Don't talk about being an advocate for folks with mental illness and then get on a train like this.

As I have tried to point out there is absolutely no connection between evil acts and the many of us around this country who live daily with a serious brain disorder. To allow the two to be connected in any way is a disgrace and does great harm to those of us who struggle daily to live with a broken brain. You know better Dr. Shern.

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