Monthly Mental Exams May be a New Addition to Your Child’s Curriculum

posted: 06/29/17
by: Kristine Boyd
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Shot of a young boy sitting on a pouf talking to a school psychologist

You send your child to school to learn, make friends and thrive. But do you send them knowing that they will be mentally examined every month? If you live in a state where the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is enacted (states listed below) than your child is potentially subject to this. A new addition to this act is that schools can use the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) to fulfill ESSA paperwork requirements. This means that your child will receive monthly mental exams.

The teacher must answer a list of 72 question relating to topics like confidence, happiness and coping mechanisms to bullying. The child will also be assessed on social awareness and acceptance of others. At first glance this may seem as though it is a good idea. Some think it is an effective way to stay informed about the children while they are at school. However, many are extremely uncomfortable with the idea of a non-medical professional examining their child at school.

According to PJ Media, "The paperwork will not be protected by HIPAA laws, which means that the school district can share a teacher's assessment of your child's mental health with literally anyone. Parents are not asked for permission before the DESSA is administered, nor do they have any say over where the records go once they are obtained." This makes people very weary of this new addition to the curriculum.

We want to know what you think about this. Is it great way to monitor children or an unprofessional invasion of privacy? Talk to us in the comments or on Twitter @TLCmeNow!


ESSA States: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington D.C., Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, or Vermont