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Don't Do It, Vallas! Says Mad Lib

Mad Lib urges Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas not to speak at Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder's conference Nov. 2
(This is especially interesting in light of this week's story that half of the "failing" schools in Illinois are in Chicago. Shows just why the schools want to blame the problems on "inattentive" or "hyperactive" kids. The following was sent to Vallas via certified mail.)

Mad Lib
PO Box 642222
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone 773/227-9374

Monday, October 30, 2000

Paul Vallas, CEO
Board of Education
1819 W. Pershing Rd.
Chicago, IL 60622

Mr. Paul Vallas,

We recently became aware of your intention of acting as welcoming speaker at the 12th Annual Children & Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) International Conference. We, as citizens of the City of Chicago, urge you not to speak at the CHADD Conference. As you may or may not know, CHADD is currently a codefendant in a class-action lawsuit filed in Texas on May 1, 2000.

The Dallas law firm of Waters and Kraus, and their medical consultant Peter Breggin, MD, contend that the wide-spread diagnosing of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has been fraudulently encouraged by CHADD, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, and the American Psychiatric Association, in order to increase sale of the drug Ritalin--an internationally controlled substance. CHADD and its codefendants are accused of having distributed misleading promotional literature to parents, schools and other interested persons. Ritalin is a Class II controlled substance that is known to cause addiction and other crippling effects and can be particularly harmful to growing children. CHADD is and has been financially supported by Novartis and other pharmaceutical companies that have put their desire for profits above the health of the children they claim to be helping.

Further evidence of the health threat posed to school-age children by the dubious diagnosis of AD/HD came to light during a US House of Representatives hearing September 29, 2000. Medical experts on both sides of the debate testified before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Education and the Workforce. Committee Chair Congressman Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) concluded: "There is no professional consensus between professionals about the origin and nature of AD/HD" and "our nation is over-prescribing drugs to treat whatever AD/HD is."

Furthermore, The Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health recognized "that children, particularly active boys, are being overdiagnosed with AD/HD and thus are receiving psychostimulants unnecessarily." (page 149)

Mad Lib, a Chicago-based organization that opposes forced psychiatric treatment and promotes alternatives to the mental health system, urges you to cancel your speaking engagement at CHADD's conference.


Katherine Hodges, Coordinator, Mad Lib

Greg Fitzsimmons, Assistant Coordinator, Mad Lib



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