The Florida chapter of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) hosted an Open House this past weekend at their offices located in downtown Clearwater. The focus of the Open House was the celebration of National Parental Involvement Day.
Since 2016 CCHR has been working to protect children and restore parental rights in Florida. In 2021, two of the main objectives were obtained. First was the passage of the School Safety bill which now requires prior parental notification before the initiation of an involuntary psychiatric examination on a child, called a Baker Act in Florida and second was the passage of the Parents’ Bill of Rights.
The Parents’ Bill of Rights not only codifies many of the rights accorded to parents under existing law, but also firmly establishes the fundamental nature of these rights.
This new section of Florida law clearly lays states that “the state, any of its political subdivisions, any other governmental entity, or any other institution may not infringe on the fundamental rights of a parent to direct the upbringing, education, health care, and mental health of his or her minor child without demonstrating that such action is reasonable and necessary to achieve a compelling state interest and that such action is narrowly tailored and is not otherwise served by a less restrictive means.”
The School Safety Bill put in place language which requires parental notification before a child can be taken into custody for an involuntary examination, commonly known as a Baker Act. This law allows for individuals of any age, including children, to be taken into custody for an involuntary psychiatric examination and transported to a facility for evaluation, often by law enforcement and in handcuffs. The passage of the Parents’ Bill of Rights also made it clear that it is the right of the parent to direct the mental health of their child and that the state should not infringe on this right. 
Celebrated annually, National Parental Involvement Day, provides an opportunity for families to honor and highlight the powerful contributions parents and caregivers provide at school and home to support student success. Those attending the CCHR Open House gained a better understanding of some of the basic rights parents have in Florida, learned the process of how a child can be Baker Acted at school and what a parent can do to better protect their child and were provided with options concerning the health and the mental health of their children.
In addition to hosting continuing education on the mental health law for professionals, CCHR regularly holds live and virtual seminars on the Baker Act, Parental Rights, Alternative Mental Health Options and much more which are open to the general public. All seminars, workshops and continuing education courses are free of charge. For more information or to reserve a seat at the next seminar please call 800-782-2878.
About CCHR: Initially established by the Church of Scientology and renowned psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Szasz in 1969, CCHR’s mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections. L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, first brought psychiatric imprisonment to wide public notice: “Thousands and thousands are seized without process of law, every week, over the ‘free world’ tortured, castrated, killed. All in the name of ‘mental health,’” he wrote in March 1969.
 School Safety Bill flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2021/590 and the Parents’ Bill of Rights flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2021/241
Release ID: 89054331