House Passes Bill to Ban Schools From Forced Medication

News Article House Passes Bill To Ban Schools From Forced Medication

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House passed a bill on Wednesday that would block schools from ordering troublesome students to take mood-altering drugs as a condition of attending class.

The bill, approved 425-1, makes clear that the school can consult parents about whether psychotropic drugs for such conditions as attention deficit disorder or attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder could benefit a child, but they are not allowed to require it.

Sponsored by Georgia Republican Max Burns, the bill also states that decisions about drugs should be made by doctors, not teachers and administrators. ADD can be confused with other emotional or learning problems.

The bill would apply to psychotropic drugs covered by the Controlled Substances Act, such at Ritalin (news - web sites). The Senate has not acted on similar legislation.

An increasing number of children have been prescribed drugs for ADD and other conditions, stirring concern about whether doctors, parents, insurers and schools were too quick to turn to pills to solve childhood problems.