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“If It Was My Kid, I'd Be Furious!” Head Teacher Angers Tom Swarbrick Over ADHD Drug
26 June 2018, 17:08
Tom Swarbrick challenged a head teacher who refused to give a student prescribed drugs because she disagreed with the doctor's diagnosis.
A head teacher told Tom Swarbrick that she phoned up the educational physiologist who diagnosed one of her students with ADHD and told him that "there's nothing wrong with him".
Anne said she told the doctor: "This child is put on a drug and he shouldn't have bene put on it."
"But he said the mother would sue me if I didn't, so I did."
The comment astonished Tom, who questioned why she would try to undermine a doctor's diagnosis.
"So you were questioning the medical diagnosis of the doctor based on what you were seeing from this child?" he asked.
"Yes," she replied.
"This child is not a problem. He wasn't disruptive in any way, the only problem was that he didn't sit still in a restaurant."
Tom asked: "As a primary school head teacher, are you qualified to overturn the decision of a doctor?"
But the head teacher didn't believe she was trying to overturn the diagnosis.
"It's a very strong drug," she said. "And in this child's case, there was no sign in the playground or mixing with other children, that he had any problem."
Tom, who is a parent himself, took a personal take on the matter.
He said: "I have to say, if it were me and it was my child who was taken to the doctors, diagnosed with something and given prescribed drugs, and needed to have them at school and the head teacher said 'under no circumstances am I going to give the drugs to your child because I don't believe they need them', I would be absolutely furious with you."
Her response: "But my responsibility is the concern oft he child."
But Tom wasn't satisfied with her defence: "I have to say, I appreciate you are doing your best putting the welfare of your pupils at the top of the tree, and yet if that were my kid in your school, who had been prescribed this school because we thought as parents they might have needed it and the doctor agreed with us, and you as the head teacher said 'nah I'm not giving it, it's just bad behaviour, I see lots of this happening,' I'm afraid I'd be utterly furious with you.
"Because it's not your right to tell a doctor that he's wrong without bringing forward some evidence."