Pubdate: Fri, 24 Jan 2003
Source: Honolulu Advertiser (HI)
Copyright: 2003 The Honolulu Advertiser, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.
Author: Alexandra Cox


Regarding the Jan. 17 story by Catherine Toth, "Student drug tests 
debated": The state Legislature should disregard any proposal to institute 
drug testing in Hawai'i's public schools.

Drug testing is counterproductive, costly and ineffective. It acts as a 
deterrent to participation in extracurricular activities and sports, the 
very activities that have been shown to prevent young people from using 
drugs. Young people are most likely to use drugs between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., 
the hours of the day when extracurricular activities and athletics take place.

Drug testing also costs money. Hawai'i is facing a severe budget crisis, so 
it is important that the state avoid implementing drug testing programs 
that are expensive and ineffective. Instead, the state should encourage 
schools and teachers to cultivate open and trusting relationships with 
young people so that those young people feel comfortable talking about 
their concerns, including drug use.

There is a growing movement around the country of parents, caregivers and 
educators to stop drug testing in schools and to promote safer and more 
effective alternative drug education and prevention programs. To learn more 
about this campaign, visit

Alexandra Cox

Drug Policy Alliance

Oakland, Calif.
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