Pubdate: Tue, 01 May 2007
Source: Honolulu Advertiser (HI)
Copyright: 2007 The Honolulu Advertiser, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.
Author: Bob Underwood


No Epidemic Of School Teachers Using Drugs

In her current contract offer to the public school teachers of 
Hawai'i, Gov. Linda Lingle is requiring that all public school 
teachers submit to random drug testing in exchange for a pay increase.

First of all, there is no epidemic of public school teachers using or 
selling illegal drugs.

The thought of any state worker interacting with children while under 
the influence of drugs or alcohol is abhorrent to any sane person. 
The vast majority of public school teachers in Hawai'i do not use, or 
promote the sale of, illegal drugs.

If the public school teachers of Hawai'i ratify the contract as it 
stands, they will gain a temporary monetary reward and in return will 
give up a priceless commodity, their Fourth Amendment right as 
guaranteed in the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution.

Gov. Lingle's contract offer to the public school teachers of Hawai'i 
is typical of the Bush/Rove style of conservative Republican politics 
that she endorses. She forces teachers to give up a constitutional 
right in exchange for a pay increase, and then paints them as 
un-American protectors of drug addicts if they cry foul.

If she really cared about weeding out drug users from state jobs, she 
could easily do so with the processes currently in place. But since 
the media loves scandal, Gov. Lingle is using this teacher contract 
to force teachers to wear the scarlet "D."

Teachers, wake up. Don't ratify.

Bob Underwood

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