Saturday, November 10, 2007

Editorial on Student Drug Testing

My friend Don spotted this before I did this morning in today's Huntsville Times. Kudos to David Prather for penning this gem.

Just say 'no'

Yet another school system may succumb to the unnecessary expense and faulty logic of treating its students as criminals. That, in essence, is what will occur if the Madison City Board of Education approves a recommendation for random drug-testing of students who drive to school or participate in extracurricular activities in middle or high school.

Children who have done nothing to merit suspicion will be subjected to the humiliation of random testing. Urinalysis is the preferred option of the moment, although it's not 100 percent accurate and wouldn't catch some steroids that, say, football players might be tempted to use. So maybe the next step will be to kick it up a notch. Polygraphs? Waterboarding?

Remember that these aren't students who have given their teachers or parents reasons to suspect they are doing drugs. If that were the case, either or both could - and should - intervene. No, these are students whot are being picked at random and subjected to a process more properly required for certain jobs or for criminals and can be used by private businesses that choose to undertake the expense.

Is the Madison system rolling in money? Apparently not, based on recent efforts to get a half-cent tax increase. (To be fair, that money would go to capital needs. Still, money is a continuing problem for all three systems in this county.)
School officials say that the random testing will assist efforts to reduce teen drug use. There are better, less expensive ways to do that - focusing on children with obvious problems, for example - and those ways also don't make students guilty until proven innocent.

Madison City Schools would be wise to reject this proposal and turn its attention to more worthwhile pursuits. - David Prather

Waterboarding? Ahahahahahahahahaha.

As to Mr. Prather's questions about the money to implement this should be known that the ONDCP (Office of National Drug Control Policy) Gives grants to schools to implement these programs.

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