Pubdate: Sun, 13 Feb 2000
Date: 02/13/2000
Source: Munster Times (IN)
Author: Paul Hutchinson

It's a shame the Lake Central School Board believes that urine tests
will somehow keep kids off drugs. A couple of questions: Where is the
research -- unbiased research, not that promulgated by the
drug-testing industry -- that proves the efficacy of drug-testing
students? You shouldn't be surprised to learn that no reliable
research exists.

Secondly, if drug testing must be imposed, why is it necessary to
enrich an outside corporation to perform this service? I know from
personal experience that a charge of $29 per test is triple the amount
charged by many labs. That would mean a 200 percent markup for Indiana
Testing Inc. Additionally, reliable tests can now be performed on-site
without the extra expense and hassle of sending samples to a
laboratory. No special skills are required, and the test kits are
relatively inexpensive, at least by the standards of Indiana Testing

The real issue, though, is why test at all? Kids will make their
decisions about drugs based upon many factors. Fear of a drug-positive
test isn't necessarily a deterrent. In fact, some kids will revel in
the notoriety of testing positive. After all, it brings them attention.

Meanwhile, students learn through the testing process that their
bodies don't belong to them but are subject to search and seizure at
the whim of government. And what of the Fourth Amendment? And the
Fifth? Or is the Bill of Rights no longer relevant in today's high
school environment?

Give kids the education they need and deserve in order to make correct
choices in their lives. But don't treat them like chattel. And remember the
words of Thomas Jefferson: "A society that will trade a little liberty for a
little order will lose both, and deserve neither."

Paul Hutchinson,
Englewood, Colorado