Pubdate: Tue, 15 Jun 2004
Source: Eagle-Tribune, The (MA)
Copyright: 2004 The Eagle-Tribune
Author:  Dina M. Beaton
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)
Bookmark: (Students - United States)


To the editor: In response to the article on drug testing in the schools in 
The Eagle-Tribune May 29: I find it appalling that we are again attempting 
to make  the schools responsible for something that is a parent's 
responsibility. The  state plans on budgeting $100,000 each to Andover and 
North Andover for drug  testing and counseling of a child if warranted and 
if the parents so desire. In light of all of the budget cuts that are 
happening in our school systems, including loss of curriculum, teachers, 
school nurses, librarians, I feel that  this money would be better used in 
another capacity. If parents feel that their children need to be drug 
tested, then they need to be utilizing their doctors and their health 
insurance, not the public school system.

Massachusetts is set up so that every child is entitled to health insurance 
if needed.

Why do we need to allot monies to a school system for something that is 
already available by another means? If a child has it in his mind that he 
or she is going to do drugs, he or she is going to do them. I highly doubt 
that the threat of drug testing at schools  is going to stop them from using.

For those of us that have kids or are involved  with kids know that they 
have a mind of their own. "Threats" do not work as a  way to discourage 

Parents need to be involved with their kids. Know where they are, who they 
are with, what they are doing all of the time. Sit and talk with your kids 
often  and start when they are little.

Give them goals to achieve.

Make them feel good  about themselves.

The schools are asked to do so much these days outside of learning.

Budgets in North Andover have taken away classes at the high school, 
teachers, classes,  and the librarian at the middle school, redistricted 
the elementary schools,  which has resulted in larger classes, and is 
closing Bradstreet kindergarten and  moving those students around.

I think the $100,000 should be used for something  else since there is 
already a system in place to drug test and counsel these  kids. We need to 
stop expecting the schools to parent our children and do it ourselves.

Dina M. Beaton
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