Friday, March 21, 2008

And Another Last Word!

Today the Monroe Journal ran two letters about student drug testing. One for it and mine, which is against student Drug Testing. Mine was after the one begging the government schools to invade the bodies of our children, so I got the last word again. I love it when that happens.

Here is the pro-drug test letter followed by mine.

Community Misinformed

Dear Editor,

It has been brought to my attention that some members of the community were misinformed as to the group of students that would be involved in testing when the proposed Random Drug Testing Program for Monroe County School System passes.

As written in the Proposed Policy, only Activity Students would be tested.
Activity Students are students in grades 7-12 who participate in school sponsored extra-curricular organizations that participate in interscholastic competition. This includes any student who represents Monroe County’s public schools in any extra-curricular activity in interscholastic competition, such as, but not limited to, academic teams (Scholars Bowl), band, choral, cheerleaders, majorettes, dance line, flag corps and athletics.

The comments I have heard have suggested that all students should be tested. I couldn’t agree more. In June 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court gave the authority to public schools to test students participating in competitive extracurricular activities for illegal drugs. This includes all extracurricular activities from athletics to Beta Club. As drug use among teens continues to increase, I feel, that in the near future, the U.S. Supreme Court will amend this decision and add all students.

I hope the community will decide this is a program that each of us needs to support for the well being of our students and to encourage a drug free lifestyle for today and for the future of Monroe County.

Susie James
Chairman, Proposed Drug Testing Program Committee
Director, Monroe County Education Foundation

Bravo to Decision

Dear Editor,
In response to "Board Nixes Drug Testing" (03/14) I say bravo! 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?
Loretta Nall
Alexander City

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