Pubdate: Fri, 13 Sep 2002
Source: Log Cabin Democrat (AR)
Copyright: 2002 The Log Cabin Democrat
Author: Darrell K. Hutchins, Conway:


Conventional wisdom has it that governing bodies do not implement optional 
policies of questionable value in the absence of a strong consensus that 
such should be done. Conventional wisdom not withstanding, the Conway 
school board has, by a closely split vote, implemented suspicionless, 
random drug testing of students in extracurricular activities.

Such testing was made technically legal by a strongly dissented 5-4 U.S. 
Supreme Court decision in an Oklahoma case. Even those worthies in the 
majority, whom the devil would have happily impaneled to hear the matter of 
Jabez Stone, except that they weren't dead yet, concede that suspicionless, 
random drug testing would be unconstitutional if applied to students generally.

The best succinct comment on the Conway matter appeared in "The Week That 
Was" column of the Aug. 30 Arkansas Times:

"It was a bad week for ... Conway. The School Board, on a 4-3 vote decided 
to drug test students in extracurricular activities. There's no proof that 
such an invasive policy discourages drug use, but it does make 
authoritarian drug hysterics feel better."
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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart