CPS concern and question

Discussion in 'General Education' started by txtchr17, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. txtchr17

    txtchr17 Guest

    Apr 27, 2017

    Ok, so the overall feel of my colleagues regarding this situation is very split.. and I can't seem to get a straight answer. I teach 6th grade, which is middle school.

    Does a parent neglecting to give their child medication repeatedly that affects their learning constitute neglect? The student in question is special education with an IEP and a BIP. The student is a completely different student and I have called personally 3 times this year, not counting other teachers counselors and the nurse, for the student's parents to bring the medication. The student comes to school dirty 3/5 days a week. The student has also been caught breaking into the school on the weekend while unsupervised at the school with friends. I do not want to file unnecessarily, but am very concerned.
     
  2.  
  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,468
    Likes Received:
    2,485

    Apr 27, 2017

    That's probably a good question to ask CPS when you call them. The answer might depend on a number of factors, so it may not be as simple as a yes or no answer.
     
    otterpop likes this.
  4. renard

    renard Companion

    Joined:
    May 13, 2015
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    97

    Apr 27, 2017

    The answer is "maybe" depending on the medication. It's up to trained investigators to make those judgements though, we are only reporting suspicion and cannot make a decision of "yes/no it is/is not neglect".
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,481
    Likes Received:
    1,381

    Apr 27, 2017

    I think you need to protect yourself (and maybe the child) by making the call.
     
  6. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Messages:
    819
    Likes Received:
    166

    Apr 27, 2017

    Parents generally have the right to refuse medical treatment or medications that are not life-sustaining. (Example: I can refuse to give my child ADHD meds but don't have the right to withhold chemo.)

    Being dirty and unsupervised (depending on the age of the student) could constitute neglect. If the child is elementary or middle school, I would call. If he is a high schooler who could presumably bathe, do laundry, and be in public without supervision, I probably would not.
     
  7. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,231
    Likes Received:
    1,172

    Apr 27, 2017

    I've filed CPS reports on several occasions due to parents not giving their child(ren) ADHD meds on a consistent basis.

    The one situation that infuriated me was when a parent said, "I ain't got no ride to the pharmacy. Why don't you take me there and then I'll pick up his pills?" The pharmacy is only a 10-15 minute walk from where they live.

    Whether or not CPS investigates the situation is out of my control. I rest better at night knowing I've made the phone call, though.
     
    nstructor likes this.
  8. Tulipteacher

    Tulipteacher Companion

    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    91

    Apr 27, 2017

    I agree if you are in doubt you should err on the side of calling. But if it is something like ADD medicine, it doesn't seem neglectful to me. A lot of parents don't like medicating their kids for that and choose not to. They should be allowed to choose not to. Even if the ADD has negative effects on the child's education, the medicine can have side effects that the parent may want to avoid.
     
  9. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,231
    Likes Received:
    1,172

    Apr 27, 2017

    But why only administer it sporadically? Either give it to them regularly or don't give it to them at all. I'm not okay with the on again/off again type of thing. Some parents are so inconsistent and irresponsible that we have to administer the meds at school each morning (they provide us with the pills and the RN takes care of daily pill distribution).

    I've worked with countless children who are medicated. The ADHD meds make them perform better behaviorally, academically, and socially. Recently, I called home for a kid who said, "I don't know what's wrong with me today; I just can't concentrate." Mom ended up admitting that she forgot to give him his daily dosage of meds.

    I do, however, believe that other avenues should be explored (alternatives such as forgoing food colorings/preservatives, yoga/tai chi/karate, certain vitamins/minerals, etc.) prior to consideration of ADHD meds.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
  10. Tulipteacher

    Tulipteacher Companion

    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    91

    Apr 27, 2017

    I disagree completely with the parent's decision to give it sporadically. But if the medicine needs to be taken consistently to have an effect (like insulin) then I think a CPS call is warranted. But if it is a medicine that can be taken sporadically with no ill effects (like Tylenol) then in IMO it does not warrant a call. (But the OP shpuld call anyway since it is part of an overall pattern of neglect. But just in itself, I don't think it is neglect.) From what I know of ADD meds, they do not have ill effects if they are taken sporadically.
     
  11. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Messages:
    819
    Likes Received:
    166

    Apr 27, 2017

    Parents are still the parents. They can choose to administer it sporadically. Those meds really do a number on kids' bodies.
     
  12. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    164

    Apr 27, 2017

    I side with the parents in most cases with psychotropic meds. I would not choose to give my child psychotropic meds, especially that young. Way too much risk for the possible benefits (in my opinion). ADHD meds especially, most of them are stimulants. Increased heart rate, strokes, look it up.

    The other things may be neglect, it just depends- but refusing to give psych meds? I don't think that's neglect.
     
  13. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,231
    Likes Received:
    1,172

    Apr 27, 2017

    I appreciate the input about ADHD meds--especially from parents' perspectives! That's why I still visit the forum so often! Even though I'm no longer a classroom teacher, I learn things that help me as an administrator!

    I am very concerned about the number of K-2 students who are being prescribed meds nowadays. Each year, we have more and more students who are being diagnosed with ADHD and being given meds by their pediatricians. It's alarming!
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
    GemStone likes this.
  14. rpan

    rpan Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    470

    Apr 28, 2017

    I don't think it matters what your personal opinion on psychotropic medication is but if the child is coming to school dirty and breaking into school over the weekend then there is a genuine concern for the kid's welfare. If you have a reasonable suspicion then you should make the call. If it turns out to be nothing, then great. But if it uncovers a deeper more serious issue going on at home, then you may have saved the child from something. It's not up to us to pre judge what may or may not be happening, only to report what we have a reasonable suspicion of.
    Probably a good idea to have a chat to admin about this as well.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,468
    Likes Received:
    2,485

    Apr 28, 2017

    While you may not have met or worked with them, there are some children who have very severe neurological and behavioral conditions and mental illnesses. For some of these children, medications are literally life-saving and absolutely necessary. I don't think anyone wants to medicate kids, but sometimes it's necessary. When it comes to ADHD, it can sometimes trigger other issues. Controlling the ADHD by whatever means, including medication, can mean that those other issues are also kept at bay (or maybe become more apparent so that they can be treated as well).
     
    Backroads likes this.
  16. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    1,634

    Apr 28, 2017

    Here's the thing: You're not the kid suffering with the psychological illness.

    I have relative who almost sued his parents once he turned 18 because they refused to give him much needed psychological medicine for his entire childhood. They got to tell everyone how natural and anti-med they were, he was the one struggling with dehibilitating issues.
     
    rpan and Caesar753 like this.
  17. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    164

    Apr 28, 2017

    If you read my post I said most cases. Most does not mean "all". I understand there are some exceptions, but I believe way too many are over diagnosed and medicated.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,468
    Likes Received:
    2,485

    Apr 28, 2017

    If you're the one kid who truly needs meds but your parents and the general public think you don't, surely that's a problem, no?
     
    Backroads likes this.
  19. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    164

    Apr 28, 2017

    Yes, it's a problem. That's why I said most- to allow for a margin of error.
     
  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,468
    Likes Received:
    2,485

    Apr 28, 2017

    What I'm saying is that unless you're privy to the private lives of your students, you may have no way of identifying whether they're of the "meds not needed" group or "meds definitely needed" group. How can you possibly side with the parents one way or the other, and how can you identify neglect or not, when you have no idea which group the kid falls into?
     
    Backroads likes this.
  21. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    164

    Apr 28, 2017

    I can't, but in principle I believe parents should have the right to refuse ADHD meds, and You have to admit they can do so and it won't always mean neglect.?
     
  22. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,468
    Likes Received:
    2,485

    Apr 29, 2017

    A parent can choose not to medicate a child. If medication is part of a child's treatment plan, though, and the medication is necessary for the child to be able to function and learn in school, then I do believe that withholding that medication may constitute parental neglect. It's certainly iffy enough to me that it's something I'd feel comfortable kicking up to CPS to investigate.

    I think that sometimes the benefit outweighs the risk. If the choice is between my kid possibly suffering some as-yet-unknown minor medical issues in the future and actually getting a solid, decent education that prepares him for that future, I'm probably going to go ahead and give the meds.

    Withholding a kid's cancer treatments because a parent prefers a crunchier approach? I can't get behind that.
     
  23. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    164

    Apr 29, 2017

    I can't get behind that either..
     
  24. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,738
    Likes Received:
    1,655

    Apr 29, 2017

    I knew a parent who once told the school that her child was put on ADHD meds. The parent never gave the child the meds. The difference was adtounding.the child started to thrive with very few reports of negative behavior. The thing that changed was the belief the child was on meds. All of a sudden more help was readily given because it seemed that yhe family was "working" with the school.

    That was an exception but it does show that meds aren't always the answer. Yes. There are times when meds are absolutely necessary but the big piece to teaching kids with disabilities isvgetting yhe right help for them by people with the right attitude.
     
  25. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    5,277
    Likes Received:
    745

    Apr 29, 2017

    The only time I think kids should be given their meds without exception are when parents are receiving ssi. If the kids aren't receiving meds or therapy, the parents shouldn't be getting money from the government since there aren't any extra costs associated with the diagnosis.

    That being said, I do think parents should be required to shadow their children if their child is violently disruptive and they withhold therapies. When the teacher is put into lion tamer mode, the other students suffer if one child gets over half the teacher's attention.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  26. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    164

    Apr 29, 2017

    This is my entire point
     
  27. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Messages:
    819
    Likes Received:
    166

    Apr 29, 2017

    Those side effects are not minor. The meds can stunt growth, change personality, delay puberty, and possibly cause addiction in later years. In addition, the child may not learn other coping skills for their ADHD. School performance does not justify forcing parents to administer that medicine to their children. The schools should stay out of such matters.
     
  28. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,468
    Likes Received:
    2,485

    Apr 29, 2017

    Schools aren't forcing anything. The parent took the kid to the doctor, got a diagnosis, agreed to give meds, filled the prescription, started giving meds, and notified the school that meds were being given. The meds are part of the treatment plan. It's one thing if the parent wants to stop the meds because the parent isn't seeing the desired results, but to sporadically offer them? That's not fair to the kid and not good for his little body. Either on meds or off meds, but not some weird half-and-half situation. I think it's fair to call CPS and ask that they look into the matter, that's what I'm saying.

    For the record, there are lots of heavy-duty meds that can cause issues later in life, not just meds for ADHD. It's up to parents and doctors to decide whether those issues and risks are worth the trade off. Once those meds begin to impact what happens in school, though, I think it's fair for school to at least ask the question about what's going on with the meds.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  29. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,481
    Likes Received:
    1,381

    Apr 30, 2017

    What would be your solution for a child who has a chemical imbalance and truly needs the meds to function in school?
     
  30. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Messages:
    819
    Likes Received:
    166

    Apr 30, 2017

    All of that is between the parents and medical professionals. It's none of the schools' business whatsoever.
     
  31. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Messages:
    819
    Likes Received:
    166

    Apr 30, 2017

    That the parents work out medical interventions with DOCTORS and behavioral and academic strategies with the schools.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  32. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    164

    Apr 30, 2017

    ADHD is not a chemical imbalance like Schizophrenia. It's behavioral
     
  33. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,468
    Likes Received:
    2,485

    Apr 30, 2017

    How can a school develop and implement the best IEP for a student when the school has no idea which version of the student is going to show up to school that day? The kid likely needs completely different interventions when he is medicated compared to when he is not. So now the teacher has to develop some flow chart or another and play pretend doctor to determine whether today the student is medicated and needs Plan A or not medicated and needs Plan B or maybe some other halfsie plan. This is not reasonable. If the medication impacts the student so significantly that the absence of medication is notable, and if the presence or absence of medication impacts the interventions outlined in the IEP, then I do think it's fair for the school to at least ask the question.
     
  34. WordLover

    WordLover Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2017
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    8

    May 1, 2017

    As for the dirty issue, I am reminded of an eleven year-old girl I had been mentoring, years ago, who had an odor from a lack of bathing. I later found out that her house had only cold water. Her parents could not afford a new water heater. There may be a financial problem, no? Perhaps the parent cannot pay for the med at this time, nor for a plumber. It's worth investigating because surely the bathing problem may hurt the child socially and self-esteem may be affected.
     
  35. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,337
    Likes Received:
    977

    May 2, 2017

    Make the call and then let them sort it out. It doesn't make any sense why they'd fill the prescription at all then give it only when they feel like it, when they remember, when they can be bothered, etc. Then again, since you don't have to pass any tests to become a parent, logic isn't always used.
     
  36. renard

    renard Companion

    Joined:
    May 13, 2015
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    97

    May 3, 2017

    I have a child with ADHD who is on Ritalin. Sorry, but it is completely inappropriate to be calling CPS *just* for not giving ADHD meds.It's not a medical requirement like insulin. I was explicitly told by my developmental pediatrician that ADHD meds are optional and we can give/not give depending on what the child's needs may be for the day. Many children who have ADHD meds at school don't even take them on the weekends, as per common prescription.

    Sorry, but I think there is a clear need for training in some schools, as evidenced by some responses here. I understand that you aren't doctors and that you've never sat through ADHD diagnosis/medication appointments - but now that you know - it's NOT one of "those meds" where it is medical neglect if it's not given.

    A child without their meds will be a right pain to deal with, believe me, I GET THAT (I live it daily at night and weekends too, not just M-F), but it's not a CPS issue and there is absolutely no need to burden the system for that. I personally always give my son his meds, but teachers don't have a right to decide that. Like many of you, I have to grin and bear dealing with a kid who isn't on their ADHD meds.
     
    GemStone and Backroads like this.
  37. renard

    renard Companion

    Joined:
    May 13, 2015
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    97

    May 3, 2017

    As teachers, our personal opinion doesn't matter when it comes to parents distributing optional medication.

    With respect, you obviously need extra training to understand that ADHD meds are always, ALWAYS, optional and not a medical neglect issue.

    You sleep better at night? This is like calling CPS because a kid didn't get a tylenol. Yes, they'll be miserable and grumpy without it, but it's not medically necessary and you've overstepped your bounds. Those "several occasions" you've reported have then diverted attention and manpower from valid CPS investigations, so I'm not sure how you could sleep better at night.
     
    a2z likes this.
  38. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,468
    Likes Received:
    2,485

    May 3, 2017

    My pre-teaching background is child and adolescent inpatient pysch. For some children, admittedly not most, the symptoms of ADHD can be very severe, including violence, anger, and aggression. It can include self-injurious behavior or physical attacks against others. For some children, untreated ADHD can trigger severe depression, ODD, and CD. The risk of drug abuse increases by like 100% among teens and young adults with untreated ADHD.

    If a child's behavior is so severely and negatively impacted by not taking his prescribed ADHD meds that he becomes violent, depressed, defiant, and/or starts abusing drugs, then it most definitely could be a CPS issue. If the child is also dirty and committing crimes, as in the situation described here, I don't see how a call to CPS wouldn't be warranted.

    CPS is trained to determine whether a situation requires more investigation or not. If we as mandated reporters feel like a call to CPS could be worth while, then we are legally obligated to call.

    Many abuse and neglect cases are not black and white. A finding of abuse or neglect could be based on one big incident or on lots of small things. I don't think it's fair to paint this issue with one large brush when there are times when withholding medication could most definitely be considered abusive or neglectful. I've personally witnessed such situations.
     
  39. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Messages:
    1,987
    Likes Received:
    134

    May 3, 2017

    Two of my principals have filed reports on parents not giving them their meds. Truly it is medical neglect (IMO) when you are not giving your student the meds a doctor prescribed. However did CPS feel the same?? No, they did nothing. In fact probably after getting off the phone with them they probably went back to their coffee break and didn't even bother looking into the situation.
    I am not pleased, happy or even remotely nice to our CPS case worker that works with our children at my school. We have too many kids who we know are being neglected (medically and otherwise) and we do our job by reporting and they find absolutely nothing wrong with what is going on. Or they give the children to a relative and say when you feel Mom can handle the kids you can give them back no questions asked. Well needless to say as soon as the door was shut behind the CPS worker the kids are right back in the same situation. I know they have tons of cases and not enough workers but something has has got to change.
     
  40. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,060
    Likes Received:
    538

    May 3, 2017

    This. In the past, when patents have been sporadic with meds, it is usually rooted in finances. Or, sometimes the parent wants to see if the child can manage without. It's a parental decision.

    With our CFS, we can do an "intake call" where we can run a scenario by a case worker without having to file an official report. The intake worker will inform the caller if the situation requires a mandated report or not. If you are really unsure about filing, this may be the next step.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  41. renard

    renard Companion

    Joined:
    May 13, 2015
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    97

    May 3, 2017

    In my original response, I advised the OP to call CPS because they had neglect concerns. However, there is in no way ANY WAY that CPS or any physician could compel parents to administer ADHD meds. It is not cancer treatment, it is not vital insulin, it is a controversial medical attempt to quell ADHD symptoms and has in itself, serious side effects.

    I administer ADHD meds to my son *every single day without fail* because I feel it is critical in the classroom, but in no way is any parent required to do so and quite frankly, that person's post went way into overstepping territory. If a teacher calls CPS for no reason other than the child's parents are refusing ADHD meds, then you are wasting resources and overstepping your role as a teacher. End of. I simply can't agree otherwise and no wonder we have such a bad reputation for pushing drugs! Goodness me, I even have an appointment on Friday to get him *stronger meds* and I see this as overstepping!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Backroads,
  2. ssgirl11
Total: 412 (members: 3, guests: 386, robots: 23)
test