Current Florida law allows for a minor to be sent for an involuntary psychiatric examination if there is reason to believe that the child has a mental illness and because of his or her mental illness:
1. The person has refused voluntary examination after conscientious explanation and disclosure of the purpose of the examination; or the person is unable to determine whether examination is necessary; and
2a) Without care or treatment, the person is likely to suffer from neglect or refuse to care for himself or herself; such neglect or refusal poses a real and present threat of substantial harm to his or her well-being; and it is not apparent that such harm may be avoided through the help of willing family members or friends or the provision of other services;
or b) There is a substantial likelihood that without care or treatment the person will cause serious bodily harm to self or others in the near future, as evidenced by recent behavior
REFERENCE: Involuntary Examination s. 394.463, F.S. Chapter 65E-5.280, F.A.C. Criteria s. 394.463(1), F.S.
This means that school personnel or the school resource officer have the legal right to remove your child from school grounds, without your permission or knowledge, and send them to a psychiatric facility for examination if they feel your child meets the criteria for involuntary examination. They are only required to inform you AFTER they have had your child transported to a psychiatric ward.
During fiscal year 2015/2016 there were194,354 involuntary examinations initiated which was a 105.50% increase from 2001/2002 to 2015/2016 and almost 17% (32,475) of the total involuntary examinations were on children.
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights of Florida worked with two attorneys to put together the NON-CONSENT form.
The NON-CONSENT form is meant to help prevent, or at least limit, the ability to remove a child from school for psychiatric examination. The notices given in the form put a school on alert that it should not allow a student to be examined without the consent of the parent/guardian. There are certain emergencies in which removal for examination would be allowable, even if this kind of NON-CONSENT form were used. However, the filing of the form would give a school pause before allowing removal for an involuntary psychiatric examination. The form is easy to use, you simply fill it out and get it notarized, then file it with the school. In so doing, you are demanding that your parental rights be respected, that the school call you before taking drastic action that can lead to a very traumatic experience for a child or teen, possible false mental health labels, drugging and potentially thousands of dollars in medical bills.