Pubdate: Wed,  3 Sep 2003
Source: Marshfield Mail, The (MO)
Contact:  Marshfield Mail 2003
Author: Don Sparks
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)



I have lived here for a little over 12 years and I don't understand the apathy
apparent in this community at times. We currently have an issue that ought to
hit at the heart of everyone who lives here whether you have kids, grandkids,
cousins, nieces, nephews, or will have a child in school someday. The issue is
our children and the values, morals and ethics they are being taught ... not by
us, but by the schools.

Here are some facts to think about before the Sept. 15 school board meeting.

* Fact: The superintendent has stated he "knows of no other issue that has been
given more opportunity for attendance at meetings for discussion or been given
more press as it was being discussed." This is a lie.

* Fact: The first several open sessions were held on Wednesday nights (church

* Fact: The meetings were not announced in our local paper. The school district
did put a flyer in the lobby of the Marshfield Mail on the bulletin board, but
did not ask to have it printed in the paper.

* Fact: The district did not send home any information about this policy with
our school kids. Did not make any calls to parents. Did not survey the parents.
So, you decide. Did the district make every attempt, or just enough to comply
with the law? They did not want our input.

* Fact: The school district admits this drug test is inaccurate. So if your
child tests positive, from any number of possible causes, not only will they
feel humiliated and be suspended from activities, you will have to prove they
are innocent.

* Fact: The school district admits there are over-the-counter products that can
be taken to beat this test.

* Fact: If you signed the drug policy consent form "Yes," you just gave the
school district the right to interrogate your minor child without your

* Fact: The school district does not enforce one of the two drug policies it
already has in place prior to this one. The district suspends students they
have probable cause on, but does not test them.

* Fact: During the 8th grade drug policy assembly, a school administrator told
students that when told by their parents or guardians to do something that
would be in the child's best interest, to disobey them.

I could go on, but I need to keep this at 500 words to fit the newspapers space

So I ask you, good citizens of the Marshfield School District, is this what you
want for your child? To sneak things by (like the school board did this
policy). To be subjected to a test that is inaccurate and can be easily beaten.
To be told to disobey a parent, or grandparent or any loved one who would be
looking out for their best interests.

This is not what I want my child to learn. Let me also say I am not against
drug testing.

What I am saying is we need to ask who we test, how we test, and why we test.
Not test them just because we can. There are a lot of things in life we can do
legally. But does that make all of them right or fair?

Think about it. Come to the Sept. 15 school board meeting. The school board
needs all of the community's input.

Don Sparks

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MAP posted-by: Doc-Hawk