America Must Improve Its Horrible Psychiatric Care for Veterans

As Memorial Day approaches, it is incredibly important that we pause from our rhetorical and political battles on the education front to remember, honor, and teach the next generation the stories of our military men and women. These soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guardsmen fought and died to secure the heritage and blessings of our liberties. We are rapidly losing those who fought tyranny in World War II and the Korean conflict to age. The veterans of Vietnam are in middle age and are dealing both with the horrors of war and the poor treatment they received on their

“Stunning” Report: Parkland Superintendent Misled Public About Shooter’s Past

Despite statements to the contrary by Broward County, Fla., Superintendent Robert Runcie and Sheriff Scott Israel, it has now been reported by WLRN that the Parkland school shooter, Nikolas Cruz, had in fact been involved in the controversial PROMISE school discipline program. PROMISE, launched in 2013, stands for Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Supports and Education. Runcie had stated in April, “Nikolas Cruz, the shooter that was involved in this horrific accident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, had no connection to the PROMISE program.” Yet, according to an admission by Broward district officials this past Sunday, Cruz did in fact

Florida Seeks to Expand Ineffective Mental Health Screening in Schools

As discussed a few weeks ago in this space, the state of Texas is ramping up its school-based mental health screening and research using students as guinea pigs. And as predicted after the Parkland, Fla., school shooting and the ill-considered law passed there, the same effort is starting to happen in the Sunshine State. The Florida Association of District School Superintendents (FADSS) held a conference to discuss how to expand school-based mental health that was attended by the state’s 67 superintendents as well as several legislators and agency heads. Broward County Superintendent and FADSS president Robert Runcie led the meeting.

Parents Beware: Mental Screening of Students Ramps Up in Texas

While federal, state, and local officials are trying to improve student safety in the wake of the tragic Parkland, Fla., school shooting, the heightened concern over student mental health has greatly increased efforts to screen students for mental health issues. Two programs in Texas exemplify this push — with potentially ominous implications for student health, privacy, and freedom of conscience. The first program from Texas Tech University, was described by Politico as follows: USING TELEMEDICINE TO SCREEN FOR KIDS ‘ABOUT TO BLOW’: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center President Tedd Mitchell shared glowing reviews of a telemedicine-based violence prevention program while

Congress Explodes Deficits, Expands Nanny State with Disastrous Omnibus Bill

Tragically for our children’s futures and freedoms — but predictably, as we warned here and here — Congress heeded very few general principles or President Trump’s good ideas about preserving freedom and privacy, decreasing the federal footprint in education, supporting programs that work, or maintaining fiscal discipline. The House yesterday passed the $1.3 trillion omnibus-spending bill — that will only fund the government for six months — by a vote of 256-197. The Senate followed early this morning with a vote of 65-32. The damage this bill will do the nation’s fiscal health and to issues outside of education is well discussed

Florida “School Safety” Bill Would Make Schools Anything But Safe

Sadly, the great wisdom contained in Ben Franklin’s maxim, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety” was entirely lost on the Florida legislature. After much political posturing and theater, on March 7th, they passed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School Safety Act that I warned about in my recent column. This legislation pleases no one. Liberals wanted much more gun control and a ban on “semi-automatic assault weapons” and did not want to give trained teachers and school staff the option of volunteering to be deputized to carry concealed weapons

The 3 Biggest Forgotten Issues in the Gun Debate

It’s been two weeks since the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., and the country is still searching for answers — and solutions. For one side, the problem is with guns: they’re too easy to buy and should be more heavily restricted, if not outright banned in some cases. And for the other side, the problem is with mental health: there are no mechanisms to prevent insane people from getting guns, and more broadly, mental illness in general needs to be addressed. Both sides are right, in some respects more than others. There are gun loopholes that need to be closed

Turning Teachers Into Psychotherapists Will Not Prevent School Shootings

In the rush to “do something” to respond to the horrific and tragic Parkland shooting in Florida, a Florida Senate committee considered bills on Monday that greatly expand mental screening and profiling of students, “harden” security at schools, fund more school resource officers, and arm teachers and others that volunteer and undergo extensive training and criminal background checks as well as a psychiatric evaluation. These were recommendations that came from three task forces put together by Governor Rick Scott that met last week. The gun control debate and proposal to arm teachers dominated the discussion while the very dangerous and