Pubdate: Fri, 26 Dec 2003
Source: Charleston Daily Mail (WV)
Copyright: 2003 Charleston Daily Mail
Author: Stephen Heath
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)
Bookmark: (Students - United States)


Regarding the Dec. 18 story headlined, "Calhoun students may get drug 
tests," if coerced drug-testing for students is implemented, then all 
school faculty, workers, contractors, etc., should likewise be tested.

So should all parents who endorse this policy. After all, if they wish to 
send a message to their kids, their trousers should be the first unzipped.

The obvious lesson here is that personal testimony is insufficient evidence 
of honesty. One must instead prove integrity by offering up a urine sample.

The sad part is that none of the tests are likely to deter drug use. Anyone 
who wants to beat the test will simply abstain for a few weeks and then go 
about their business.

Additionally, University of Michigan researchers concluded drug testing 
does not deter student drug use.

The research, published in the Journal of School Health, culled data from 
surveys of students in 722 secondary schools across the nation from 1998 to 
2001. They found students' drug use in testing schools and non-testing 
schools were "virtually identical."

Our kids need to know the dangers related to drug abuse. This information 
should come from parents and educators.

In neither case will that information be more openly received if a full 
urine cup is a prerequisite to honest communication.

Parents who disagree with coerced drug testing of their teens need to speak 
up and tell the schools to Just Say No.

Stephen Heath

Clearwater, Fla.

Heath is public relations director with the Drug Policy Forum of Florida.
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