Free Choice and Parental Rights by Mary Panton

The People's Lobbyist

By: Mary Panton

First published in the Tampa Tribune on April 21, 2005

Dear Editor:

Your editorial –  “Tears Don’t Psych out Lawmakers” – casts into question the sincerity of those who testified on behalf of legislation to prevent parents from being forced to put their children on psychiatric drugs as a condition of their attendance in state-funded schools and calls for parents to be informed of the dangers of psychotropic drugs and that alternatives do exist.   Now I call into question yours.

The child medication bill, House Bill 209 and Senate Bill 1766, is about children – our future.  This is a concern to all parents whether they are Scientologists, Baptists, Catholics, Jews or any other religion or no religion at all.

You conveniently fail to mention in your editorial that there were four people who gave testimony in support of the bill last Tuesday in Tallahassee – none of whom are Scientologists.  They are Dr. Julian Whitaker, Dr. Fred Baughman, Mrs. Beverly Eakman, the president of the National Education Consortium and a mother, Tabitha, who was forced to put her child on drugs.  Each also gave testimony to the dangers of psychotropic drugs and the need for parents to get full information including the fact that psychiatric “diagnoses” are not based on scientific tests.  Dr. Whitaker is a 30-year board-certified physician, the director of the Wellness Institute and Editor of one of the most popular health publications, Health and Healing.  Dr. Baughman is a child neurologist who has been in private practice for 35 years and who has a website called “Exposing the Fraud of ADD and ADHD” – .  Mrs. Beverly Eakman left the teaching profession several years ago because she was fed up that schools had turned into psychological clinics where the children were being psychoanalyzed but not educated.  Mrs. Eakman has written several books on the subject, including, The Cloning of the American Mind, Educating for the New World Order and Microchipped as well as several published articles.  All of these people gave impassioned pleas to legislators to step forward and take a stand in Florida to curtail the drugging of our children and tell parents the truth.

You conveniently omitted the discussions by the lawmakers at the House hearings that they believe that some clause on disclosure must be included in the bill that passed the Education Council on Tuesday so that parents are fully informed of the consequences and alternatives to putting their children on psychotropic drugs.  And many of the legislators including the chairman, Rep. Dennis Baxley, commended Rep. Barreiro for courageously bringing the issue forward.

I say give parents the facts, NOT authoritative one-sided propaganda.  Telling parents that nutrition, allergies, chemical sensitivity and real education are alternatives to drugging is a service and an acknowledgment to the parents’ intelligence.  Then they can make informed decisions.

Yes – this legislation is supported by Scientologists.  It is also supported by conservatives, the NAACP, the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, the National Federation of Women Legislators, the Preventive Medicine Center of Gainesville, the Academy of Trial Lawyers, the Florida Catholic Conference and many others.  Ten states have passed similar legislation.  America is waking up to the appalling fact that we are drugging our next generation into mediocrity, criminality and illiteracy.

Fifty years ago America was number six in the world on the literacy scale.   Now it is a distant 49th.   What happened?  Instead of being educated, 8.5 million school children in America are being fed mind-altering, brain-numbing drugs, lining up in school for their “Kiddy Cocaine” and psychotropics so powerful, they are driving them to hallucinations, suicidal thoughts and violent behavior.  Eight of the last twelve school shooters were known to be on these drugs.  The scientific evidence exists that these drugs not only fail to help cure “behavior problems” or “over active” children, but that they cause vicious and damaging effects on children.  Yet sales of stimulants alone for children have climbed to $1 billion a year.

Since 1987, when ADHD was voted into the psychiatrist’s compendium of “mental disorders”, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, without any scientifically identifiable physical cause, there has been a 900% increase in the number of children “diagnosed” with ADHD and a 665% increase in the production of cocaine-like stimulants for children.  Between 1995 and 1999, the use of antidepressants increased 580% in the under 6-year-old population and 151% in the 7-12 age group.

This issue is not about Scientology or any religion.  It is about standing up to the enforced, unproven, life-altering “treatment” of our children.  It is about free choice and parental rights.

Mary Panton

Executive Director

Citizens Commission on Human Rights of Florida


About Mary Panton

You want someone who can handle controversy when you lobby anything that is unpopular. And lobbying for the people, not the corporate interests, is about as controversial as it gets. David and Goliath, baby! I've gone up against Big Pharma...and won. I've been the punching bag for and against the Church of Scientology. It doesn't get any more controversial than that. I've done crisis consulting, picketing, grassroots campaigns, written and passed legislation at the State level, been in front of and behind the cameras, been the news, made the news, reported the news. I write. Editorials, magazine articles, white papers, speeches. I produce. Large-scale events, briefings, media, vigils, benefits, concerts. I raise funds. For campaigns, for not-for-profits, for events, for volunteer efforts, for disaster relief. I speak. I am an award-winning New York stage actress. Been on Broadway, off-Broadway and way-off-Broadway. Graduated from New York University. Worked as the Executive Director of a Human Rights group. Been a lobbyist for not-for profit, for-profit, police and fire, pension funds, Juvenile Justice Issues, Foster Care issues, Education policy. I live in Boulder, Colorado, where the folks support corporate responsibility, personal responsibility, lifestyles of health and sustainability. People come here to live. There are hippies and entrepreneurs. Enough money to support the artists. There is community in every sense of the word. I am for exporting this mindset. Much Love, Mary
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