Pubdate: Thu, 20 Dec 2007
Source: Huntsville Times (AL)
Copyright: 2007 The Huntsville Times
Author: Robert C. Lemley


Today the Madison City Board of Education plans to vote  on random 
drug testing for all students who drive to  school or participate in 
any extracurricular  activities.

Initially, this seems good.

Everyone wants to reduce youth drug problems.

Upon closer inspection, these policies go against the  U.S. 
Constitution and are rife with unintended  consequences.

Students should not be required to prove their  innocence to 
participate in public school activities.  The research doesn't 
indicate that these policies deter  drug abuse.

Instead, they often drive away students most in need of  intervention 
while testing students that don't use  drugs.

Also, the testing program will not test for steroids,  which are some 
of the most dangerous drugs.

Many organizations and institutions have thoroughly  researched and 
clearly stated their conclusions and  policies against random, 
suspicionless drug testing in  schools, including: the University of 
Michigan, the  Institute for Social Research, the American Academy of 
Pediatrics, the Indiana University Prevention Resource  Center, 
NAADAC the Association for Addiction  Professionals, the National 
Association of Social  Workers and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The Madison school board must make decisions which will  affect 
thousands of our young citizens based on  science, facts and 
principles, not upon feelings and  fears.

The school board has not notified the public of this  pending 
decision or requested public input.

The board listed only revisions to policies for  "Parking Privileges 
and Vehicle Use" and "Academic  First" in the agenda. An issue as 
important and  controversial as this needs a public forum.

Robert C. Lemley,

Madison, 35758
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