© 1999 WorldNetDaily.com
Believe it or not, there are now over 5 million school kids
in America on psychotropic drugs, most of which are prescribed and
administered by the schools themselves. That's the report we get
from Kelly O'Meara, writing in Insight magazine on June 28. In
addition, according to Teacher Magazine of December 1996, there are
four million kids on Ritalin alone, one of the most powerful of the
drugs now being given routinely to children in American schools.
What is most disturbing, however, is the growing awareness that
the increased violence among school children may have more to do
with the drugs than with the guns they use to carry out their
violence. Yet, neither the president nor the Congress have addressed
this aspect of the problem. Instead of going after the manufacturers
of guns, why don't they go after the manufacturers of the drugs that
are more than likely causing violent behavior among children?
We know, for example, that Eric Harris, 18, who, with his friend
Dylan Klebold, murdered his fellow students at Columbine, had been
taking Luvox, one of the new antidepressant drugs approved in 1997
by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of
obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, among children under 18.
We also know that T. J. Solomon, 15, who shot and wounded six
classmates at Heritage High School in Conyers, Ga., on May 20 was on
Ritalin for depression. Shawn Cooper, 15, who fired two shotgun
rounds, narrowly missing students and teachers at his high school in
Notus, Idaho, was also on Ritalin, for bipolar disorder.
Kip Kinkel, 15, was on Ritalin and Prozac. He murdered his
parents and then went on to school where he fired on students in the
cafeteria, killing two and wounding 22. Also, we know that Mitchell
Johnson, the 13-year-old student at Westside Middle School in
Jonesboro, Ark., who mowed down several children and a teacher with
his friend Andrew Golden, 11, was on some sort of medication since
he was being treated by a psychiatrist.
It is not easy getting medical information about these killers,
finding out what drugs they've been taking. In fact, it is virtually
impossible to find out what long-range effects Ritalin has had on
the millions of children who were taking it over a period of years.
Ritalin has been with us since 1955, when the FDA first approved it.
It is now used most commonly to treat a disorder known as ADD
(Attention Deficit Disorder) or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive
What are the symptoms of this disorder that has afflicted
millions of American children? According to a Time cover story in
July 1994, "ADHD has three main hallmarks: extreme
distractibility, and almost reckless impulsiveness and, in some but
not all cases, knee-jiggling, toe-tapping hyperactivity that makes
sitting still all but impossible." Ritalin is supposed to
alleviate the symptoms. It does not cure the disorder.
Indeed, according to Business Week (June 6, 1994), ADHD is
"an often-hereditary biochemical condition." And the
Ladies Home Journal of September 1993 reported that ADHD is "a
neuro-chemical disorder in the areas of the brain that regulate
attention" as well as "a lifelong, genetically based
Drs. Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey, authors of
"Driven to Distraction," write, "ADD lives in the
biology of the brain and the central nervous system. The exact
mechanism underlying ADD remains unknown." In other words, we
are dealing with a neurological enigma wrapped in a biological
mystery. But is it possible that there is a much simpler explanation
for ADD, one that would put a lot of doctors and drug manufacturers
out of business? Indeed, is it not possible that the school
atmosphere itself is causing the extreme distractibility and
impulsive behavior that are the major symptoms of ADD?
Believe it or not, there was no such thing as ADD or ADHD when I
was going to school back in the 1930s and '40s. In fact, you
couldn't possibly have Attention Deficit Disorder in the kind of
classrooms I was in. First of all, all of the desks and seats were
bolted to the floor. You couldn't move them. Also, the walls were
generally bare. Maybe a picture of George Washington, or a map.
Otherwise there was nothing on the walls to distract anyone. The
room was as clean and orderly as a pin.
The room was also silent. You were not permitted to talk to your
fellow classmates during class. The teacher was the focus of
attention. She sat at her desk in front of the class and exercised a
benign, no-nonsense discipline on all of us. She taught us all the
same thing, from the blackboard or a textbook, and she used rational
methods of teaching, methods that had been proven over the centuries
to produce academic results. Our teachers were not interested in our
feelings or our sexuality or trying to change our values. Their
concern was purely academic, and we all knew that.
Thus, there was no ADD. Any impulsive behavior would have landed
you in the principal's office. But now, let's fast forward to 1999
and enter a typical first-grade classroom in today's public school.
The kids are no longer seated in rows in desks bolted to the floor.
They are now seated around tables, interacting with each other,
pestering each other, chatting, interrupting. Each child is doing
something different. One may be writing, another reading, another
drawing. One child may be under a table reading a book; another may
be sprawled on the floor drawing a large picture. Several children
may be working on a project.
The walls are now covered with every conceivable kind of
distraction: dinosaurs, Mickey Mouse, bulletin boards, pictures of
animals, travel posters, you name it. Then there are fish tanks,
gerbils, and rabbits to grab one's attention. Mobiles hang from the
ceiling, swaying in the breeze. Anything and everything that could
possibly distract a child is there.
The teacher, of course, is no longer the focus of attention. She
is now a facilitator who wanders around the room, helping one child
here, chatting with another there. She is also using the most
irrational teaching methods ever devised by so-called educators:
whole language, invented spelling, the new new math, plus
sensitivity training, values clarification, transcendental
meditation, cooperative learning, death ed., sex ed., suicide ed.
She's very much interested in your feelings, your sexuality, your
family, your thoughts about death, suicide, abortion, feminism,
homophobia, the environment, global warming, and world citizenship.
She is also practicing psychiatry without a license.
Is it any wonder that so many children suffer the equivalent of a
cognitive breakdown in American schools? The entire school
configuration is designed to cause distraction, inattention,
frustration, impulsiveness, hatred, anger, and violence. And the
only way that many children can be forced to endure that atmosphere
is by drugging them.
Samuel L. Blumenfeld is the author of eight books on education,
including "NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education." His
books are available on Amazon.com.