Browsing articles in "School Violence"
Jul 16, 2018

Video Interview – Dangers of School-based Mental Screening

Randy Osborne of Florida Government Watch did a second interview of Dr. Effrem regarding the dangers of school mental health screening which was also covered during the July 11th School Safety Commission meeting. None of the problems of inaccuracy, privacy invasion, consent, etc. were discussed by witness, Dr. Mark Olfson, the director of the failed TeenScreen program at Columbia University that shut down in 2012 without explanation after a school was sued for screening a teenager without parental consent. Dr. Effrem was an expert witness in that case.

The Co-director of TeenScreen, Dr. David Schaffer, admitted that TeenScreen has a false positive rate of 84%. Many of the other screening instruments have similarly and ridiculously poor accuracy rates. These screening instruments lead to rampant overprescribing of psychiatric medications that have dangerous and sometimes fatal side effects, including suicide and murderous rampages. It is extremely disturbing that there was no countervailing information presented at the commission meeting.



Jul 16, 2018

Video Interview – The Connection between Psychiatric Drugs and School Shootings No One wants to Talk About.

Thanks to Randy Osborne of Florida Government Watch for his excellent interview of Dr. Effrem on the dangerous connection between the rampant over-medicating of our youth and the increase in school and other mass shootings.

It is especially pertinent because this connection was severely and incorrectly minimized during the federal School Safety Commission meeting on July 11th.


Jun 20, 2018

The National Pulse – Obama’s School Discipline Policies Still Causing Widespread Chaos


Dr Effrem’s latest article at the National Pulse contrasts the views of pro-family organizations who see the Obama era school discipline policy as a danger to student and staff safety and those who want to keep the policy  along with expanded mental screening and social emotional learning. Here is an excerpt:

Conservative, pro-family and pro-school safety groups continue to duke it out with progressive, pro-gun control, social justice warriors over the contentious school discipline issue. In general, the conservatives see the federal government’s Obama-era school discipline guidance as dangerous and want it repealed, while the progressives see it as a matter of “equity” and “social justice,” wanting it continued. The raging debate and stark contrast was on full display when one compares a letter sent to Betsy DeVos by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) and an op-ed at by a liberal supporter of social emotional learning (SEL) and Common Core, Professor Linda Darling Hammond.

Read the full article here.

The National Pulse – Texas School Safety “Action Plan” Contains More Problems than Solutions


In this article, Dr. Effrem discusses the new school safety initiatives out of Texas following the tragic school shooting in Santa Fe, and the problematic use of mental health screenings.

The first element of the plan is to “provide mental health evaluations that identify students at risk of harming others and provide them with the help they need.” This is the Telemedicine Wellness Intervention Triage & Referral (TWITR) Project, one of the programs that I wrote about several weeks ago. This program sends troubled students, referred by teachers, for screening by licensed professional counselors and, if necessary, for two telemedicine sessions with psychiatrists. According to the program’s data sheet, nearly 42,000 students were “impacted” by the program, with 1 percent (about 400) referred for triage and 215 receiving the counseling sessions.

However, while it may be a step forward that those truly in need of counseling are receiving it, there are several issues not mentioned in the information given. One unmentioned issue is the false positive rate of the screening. Although it is likely to be better than a standard written or online screen, because the screening is done by a licensed mental health professional, as previously discussed, the psychiatric profession readily admits that diagnosis is not standardized but is rather a consensus judgment, and diagnosing children and adolescents is especially difficult due to rapid developmental changes. A 2016 international psychiatric conference also highlighted the crisis of consensus for that specialty.]

You can view the full article at the National Pulse here.