Councilman gave boy (11) psychiatric diagnosis
In this article, one can read about the troubles that the Fremmerlid Sørset family encountered when two parents asked for a more challenging mathematics education for their son Are (10). In a follow up article at the website of the private TV Channel TV2, we are informed that the councilman - the top civil cervant in a Norwegian municipality - gave the boy a psychiatric diagnosis.
The current councilman in Skodje municipality, Bente Glomset Vikhagen, was senior to the headmaster and municipality chief at the time that Are Fremmerlid's family was reproted to the CPS. According to the article, TV2 has gotten acces to all the papers in this case. A scrutiny by the Control committee (kontrollutvalget - an entity that is in charge of watching the municipal administration) has revealed several remarkable truths about how the municipality has treated the Fremmerlid Sørset family. During a meeting with the Control committee, Glomset Vikhagen admitted that she was involved when the school reproted the family to the Child Protection Servces (CPS). During that meeting, Glomset Vikhagen also gave remarkable "information" about the boy:
She said that the boy had "lasting and serious conduct problems", and that these problems were caused by the negative impact of the parents.
The diagnosis "lasting and serious conduct problems" has not been mentioned in any of the papers in the case, neither from the school, the CPS or the PPT (pedagogic psychiatric service). Several persons present at the meeting confirm that Glomset Vikhagen gave the boy the above mentioned diagnosis.
The lawyer of the Controll committee, Kjetil Kvammen, writes in the report on this case that "lasting and serious conduct problems" is used about children and youngsters who "commit serious and repeated criminal acts, show a long lasting abuse of drugs or any other normless conduct that makes treatment in an institution necessary or preferable:"
According to TV2, Are is now a 11 years old boy who is healthy and has many friends. On his spare time he plays keyboard and football - not exactly a problem child. TV2 has several times tried to make Bente Glomset Vikhagen explaining what background she has that makes her able to give a normal schoolchild a psychiatric diagnosis. Glomset Vikhagen has expressed clearly towards TV2 that she does not want to comment the case.
The municipal lawyer, Kristin Otterlei, expresses disagreement with the way the Control committee has handled the case. Among other things, she questions whether the Control committee has a mandate to scrutinize such cases at all. To see whether the Control committee has a mandate to scrutinize a case likt this case, the relevant place to look is the Regulation of the Control committe (a regulation given with the Municipality law as legal basis). Section 4 in the regulation says the following about the Controlcommittee's mandate:
"The control committee shall conduct the continuous control of the municipality's or the county's administraton on behalf of the municipality or county board, including checking that the municipality or county has an adequate revision system. The Control committee has the right to be present during a closed meeting in the popularly elected organs of the municipality or county. The municipality or county board can decide, in a regulation or for a single meeting, that the control commission cannot be present during a closed meeting.
The committee cannot overrule political priorities made my the municipality's or county's popularly elected organs".
The regulation gives the Control committee a wide mandate to scrutinize the actions of the administration. Section 5 in the regulation states that the Control committee can - unhindered by professional secrecy - demand any document or information from the administration. There is neither any section in the regulation that supports Otterlei's expressed doubt concerning the mandate in this case.
Quite the contrary, the official purpose behind the Control committee - to hinder abuse by the administration, supports that this is a case that the Control committee should look into.