Friday, November 09, 2007

Just Say NO to Student Drug Testing

There is a story in the Huntsville Times this morning about student drug testing, which is one of my pet peeves.Madison Schools Eye Student Drug Testing

MADISON - A random drug testing policy for students who drive to school or participate in extracurricular activities is being considered for Madison City Schools.

"We feel an obligation to provide the safest environment we can, and a drug-free environment is the best for our children," Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler said at Thursday night's board meeting.

He said the test will cover 10 types of drugs such as amphetamines, barbiturates, marijuana and prescription medications. "We're not trying to find someone doing drugs but just give them another reason to say no" to drugs, Jackson said.

That's all well and good Mr. Superintendent...however, studies show that student drug testing does not work. The following is a letter to the editor that I just wrote and sent in. I hope that they print it and I also hope to find out when this will be discussed again so that I can be there to present a different view. Please also write a letter to

Dear Editor,

In response to "Madison Schools Eye Drug Testing" (11/09) I submit the following in hopes of providing parents and educators with good, scientific-based reasons to 'Just say NO to student drug testing".

Oregon Health & Science University researchers just concluded a two-year study called SATURN (Student Athlete Testing Using Random Notification).
This is the first-ever prospective, randomized clinical trial to measure the deterrent effects of drug and alcohol testing among high school athletes. They report that random drug and alcohol testing does not reliably keep student-athletes from using. They also found that drug testing increases some risk factors for future substance use. These findings are published in the November issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, the journal of the Society for Adolescent Medicine.

Student drug testing places kids in greater danger for a variety of reasons. Marijuana is the substance most commonly used by youth and is the safest of all substances, both licit and illicit. Students who might engage in a little youthful indiscretion by smoking pot once in a while, might move to harder drugs like meth and prescription narcotics because they are out of your system in 72 hours, whereas the broken down metabolites of marijuana, while causing no harm, are detectable in the human body for up to 45 days. Kids are also known to do crazy things like drink bleach in hopes of masking drugs in their system. That is extremely dangerous.

Parents and educators should also be aware that the following organizations oppose randomly drug testing students: National Education Association, the Association for Addiction Professionals, the American Public Health Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of Social Workers, and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.

If that many professionals say NO to student drug testing, studies show it doesn't work and might even place kids in greater danger then why do we continue to see schools push for these invasive and dehumanizing programs for our kids?

Respectfully Submitted for publication,
Loretta Nall


alapoet said...

Kudos, Loretta!

Thank you for pointing this out... Student drug testing programs DO NOT WORK! And, as you astutely showed, they have the OPPOSITE effect intended by pushing students toward harder drugs!

I'm hoping that more and more of the citizens of my fair home state of Alabama will think as rationally as you on this issue.

Christie said...

Exceptionally stated :)

Bitter Old Punk said...

Unless we begin early in their development to subject them to the systematic and arbitrary invasion of their bodies and violation of their civil liberties, we will never properly condition them for future work as wage slaves in the robot-run asteroid mines. Next thing you know, they'll be thinking for themselves and claiming that the earth is billions of years old! We can't have that! Won't someone think of the robots?

Mike said...

I have a feeling that they will go through with this because it sounds like it would be an easy sell to the large Republican base that makes up Alabama. Which will open them up to various lawsuits for preforming medical tests on students. Personally I would never give my permission as a parent to allow a school nurse (who is already overworked) to preform invasive or non-invasive testing on my children. There are way to many ways for this to go terribly wrong. Remember the good old days when they told you to study for your exams because the grade was going on your perminate record that would follow you around the rest of your life? Well we know now that the US History test we took in the 9th grade has not kept us from getting a job but if they had tested me in the 9th grade for pot and I tested positive you had better believe that would be one item on my perminate record that would have kept me from getting a lot of the jobs I've had as an adult.

Anonymous said...

alapoet and bitter old punk stole my thunder. Bless you for pointing out what is obvious to those of us that can think for ourselves, yet unheard of to the sheep out there. Keep fighting the good fight!