In October 2007, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) published a study in the September 2007 issue of Biological Psychiatry, which documented that “… NIMH-funded researchers recently reported that roughly nine percent of U.S. adults have a personality disorder… Many people with personality disorders were also found to have co-occurring major mental disorders…. Personality disorders, which include borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and other similar illnesses, were first defined by the DSM as diagnosable illnesses in 1980.” (emphasis added) – www.nimh.nih.gov/news/science-news/2007/national-survey-tracks-prevalence-of-personality-disorders-in-us-population.shtml
One symptom commonly seen in personality disorders is anxiety and paranoia… “About 12% of people are affected by an anxiety disorder in a given year. They occur about twice as often in females as males, and generally begin before the age of 25. The most common are specific phobia which affects nearly 12% and social anxiety disorder which affects 10% at some point in their life. They affect those between the ages of 15 and 35 the most and become less common after the age of 55. Rates appear to be higher in the United States and Europe.” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anxiety_disorder
In October 2011, NIMH published that they “… examined the rate of normal shyness among youth and its overlap with social phobia using data from the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A), a nationally representative, face-to-face survey of more than 10,000 teens aged 13-18 sponsored by NIMH. Social phobia was assessed using standard diagnostic criteria set by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV)…. among youth who did not identify themselves as shy, about 5 percent met criteria for social phobia, suggesting that social phobia and shyness are not necessarily directly related… ” – www.nimh.nih.gov/news/science-news/2011/national-survey-dispels-notion-that-social-phobia-is-the-same-as-shyness.shtml
In summary, roughly 5-10 percent of the US population has personality disorders and social phobia, as documented by the NIMH studies above. These are absolute facts that need to be applied to current social and educational issues.
Let us apply these statistics to three selected example populations:
- At Emory University, population 14,500, one would expect around 750 to 1,000 students to normally suffer from some form of anxiety from normal daily interactions. As reported March 24 by the Washington Post “… Students woke up Monday morning to find messages written in chalk all over campus, in support of Donald Trump. That afternoon, a group of 40 to 50 students protested. According to the student newspaper, the Emory Wheel, they shouted in the quad, “You are not listening! Come speak to us, we are in pain!” – https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/03/24/someone-wrote-trump-2016-on-emorys-campus-in-chalk-some-students-said-they-no-longer-feel-safe/
- Washington State K-12 enrollment is over 1,000,000 students, and therefore one would expect 50,000 to 100,000 students to normally suffer from some form of anxiety from normal daily interactions. On July 1, 2016, the Washington Examiner reported “… Officials at Washington state’s K-12 schools received an email last month suggesting they create “safe places” for their students because of 2016 political rhetoric, specifically from presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump. The email, sent June 16 from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, opened with a mention of the “Trump Effect” and a link to the “phenomenon. Regardless of one’s politics, the impact of this year’s political rhetoric on K12 schools is huge,” the email, which was provided to the Washington Examiner, said. ‘It has produced increasing levels of fear and anxiety among students of all ages.’ The email goes on to claim that ‘Fear levels are becoming especially high among ethnic, racial and linguistic minority and LGBTQ youth’… No specific incidents are mentioned, and given the number of exaggerations and hoaxes floating around, there’s no telling how many of the reports are due to actual, objective bullying or mere hysteria.” – http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-state-schools-seek-to-create-safe-spaces-from-donald-trump/article/2595473
- American University enrollment is about 13,000 students, and therefore one would expect 650 to 1,300 students to normally suffer from some form of anxiety from normal daily activities. On October 5, student government president, Devontae Torriente, apparently stated in a video: “The fact of the matter is, trigger warnings are necessary in order to make our academic spaces accessible to all students, especially those who have experienced trauma.” – http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/10/05/student-government-at-american-university-demands-trigger-warnings-on-every-syllabus.html
From these three simple examples, one MUST question why are there not more instances of normal anxiety-induced objections? At Emory University, 40-50 students would be expected to be anxious about a Trump posting, and a similar number might be expected to be anxious about a Clinton posting. At Washington State, one would certainly expect a significant number (thousands) of students to express anxiety if asked about any social interactions. American University hundreds of students would certainly have anxiety about taking classes.
As a side note, the Freedom Party notes that there is already a “Safe Space” in every educational campus; a place where students can go and not have to hear anything at all: the LIBRARY!
With the advent of support for anti-Free Speech and restrictive Political Correct speech controls, one must also ask whether University, College, and K-12 Boards of Education & Administrators, are in fact, simply PANDERING and ENABLING a small population who statistically would be expected to naturally have objections during social interactions, because of their social phobias and psychosis?
Certainly, actual bullying, physical intimidation, and physical threats are to be promptly investigated, and appropriate action (i.e., referral to Law Enforcement) must be taken. Freedom Party notes that for 200 years, Congress has passed innumerable laws protecting personal freedom, and criminalizing threats, intimidations, and verbal and physical assaults – Educational Institutions are not exempt from application of the Law.
But importantly, legal exposure to Administrations and Boards is substantial for “enabling” students with mental health issues, enabling their potential paranoid and social phobias, and for irresponsibly repressing the vast majority of other student citizens’ Freedom of Speech and Assembly because someone simply disagrees with another person’s views.
Educators who contribute to and, through action or inaction, “enable” social phobias are clearly legally liable for contributing to a “perceived validation” which naturally increases the individuals paranoia and phobias, and compounds their potential recovery, or at least to allow their ability to function and cope with daily interactions. Creating a “Bubble World”, while perhaps a noble goal, is clearly not achievable or desirable when dealing with a normal population where 5% to 10% of the population have social phobias and paranoia.
The Freedom Party supports measures to help citizens with paranoia, social phobias, and anxiety. The Freedom Party also supports Law Enforcement and legal remedies for bullying and threats. The Freedom Party supports the rights of Free Speech and Assembly.
But unless the applicable School Administration has conducted a comprehensive psychological examination of persons expressing discomfort (to clinically ascertain if the issue raised is valid or is a symptom of a psychosis), unilaterally restricting Constitutional Freedoms is illegal and exposes the Institution and the Individual administrator to significant financial and criminal liability.
Additionally, if “FAKE NEWS” is responsible for exacerbating the psychosis of mentally ill individuals, the specific “News” organization(s) shall be liable for damages awarded by a civil trial.
Simply put, when “THE INMATES ARE RUNNING THE ASYLUM” no one is safe.