Speed Reads

glad we cleared that up

Judge says Trump administration can't give migrant kids psychotropic drugs without permission

The Trump administration can no longer forcibly administer psychotropic drugs to detained migrant children without parental permission, a federal judge ruled Monday.

While drugs may be administered in emergency situations, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee decided, the daily dosing described in the testimony of migrant children submitted to the court is not permissible. "I witnessed staff members forcefully give medication four times," one child recalled. "Two staff members pinned down the girl ... and a doctor gave her one or two injections."

"The staff threatened to throw me on the ground and force me to take the medication," another testified. "I also saw staff throw another youth to the ground, pry his mouth open, and force him to take the medicine. ... They told me that if I did not take the medicine I could not leave." He was given medications including Clonazepam, Divalproex, Duloxetine, Guanfacine, Latuda, Geodon, and Olanzapine.

Gee's ruling also required that all children — except those determined by an appropriate medical professional to be at risk of hurting themselves or others — be removed from Shiloh Residential Treatment Center in Texas, a facility central to this case where staff admitted to giving kids psychotropic medications without sign-off from the children's parents or guardians.