Pubdate: Thu, 21 Oct 2004
Source: Free Lance-Star, The (VA)
Copyright: 2004 The Free Lance-Star
Author: Stephen Heath


In a recent letter, DeForest Rathbone may be correct about the current
constitutional protections for schools to randomly drug test students,
but he misleads readers by suggesting that such tests are either an
effective policy or that they are popular ["Student drug-testing:
Constitutional, and a smart school tactic," Oct. 1].

Researchers at the University of Michigan concluded that 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 that
drug use among students in testing schools and in nontesting schools
were "virtually identical."

More important, growing numbers of parents object to coerced drug
testing of their kids. If they object, their kids are assumed to "test
positive" and suffer all related consequences. Mr. Rathbone pointed
readers to a Web site that promotes forced urine tests for kids.

Readers interested in an opposing point of view might be interested in
the information at

Stephen Heath

Clearwater, Fla.
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