By: Krystle Crossman
NY State Senator Margaret Markey has introduced a Senate Bill back into light that would require all children entering school to undergo a psychological evaluation. This bill is known as Senate Bill A8186-2013. It was first referred to the education committee by Markey in 2013 and now she is referring it again.
The children would be required to undergo two medical evaluations in elementary school and then two more in the secondary grades. After the evaluation, they must receive a certificate that states that they are mentally fit to handle the challenges of going to public school. If they do not get a certificate, they do not attend public school. Many are extremely opposed to this because they feel that psychology is not a science and having to take this test could be traumatizing and invasive for children, especially those about to go into kindergarten.
One of the biggest problems that activists are having with this new bill is the fact that if a child is sad or lonely, they are automatically slapped with a diagnosis of something like clinical depression which is most of the time the furthest thing from the truth. The child just may be sad and lonely for other reasons but depression usually is not one of them, especially younger children. The psychologist will look at a child and see that they have some little tweak in their personality and will assign them to a disorder. What they need to consider is that all young kids are different and little quirks in their behavior do not automatically mean that they are mentally ill or unstable.
The activists say that this is just another way for the government to gain control over everything in people’s lives. Some of the politicians that support bills like this are just uninformed and don’t really have a lot of information on mental illness or what a child who is actually mentally ill is like. The other politicians see it as a way to become more intrusive than they already are in people’s everyday lives.
What do you think? Is this bill a good idea or something that should be put back on the shelves for good?