Pubdate: Sun, 14 Nov 1999
Source: St. Augustine Record (FL)
Copyright: 1997-1999, The St. Augustine Record
Address: P.O. Box 1630, St. Augustine, FL 32085-1630
Author: Susan Whittaker
Section: letters


Editor: My mother recently tore out Bud Hendershot's
article, ``Has drug testing gotten out of hand?'' and left it
on the kitchen table for me to read. It wasn't until a little
later that I realized that the man who had written it is the
father of an old friend of mine. I then sat down and
decided to read it, finding out that it applies to me and my
school. I am a senior at Allen D. Nease High School, and
have witnessed the effects of school drug tests.

I also oppose it and its so-called purposes.

Mr. Hendershot speaks out, similarly, not only as a concerned citizen,
but also as a concerned parent.

Have we forgotten everything that our country has fought for, in terms
of freedom?

As stated in the article, ``searching someone's bodily fluids without
probable cause is unconstitutional - not to mention expensive,
humiliating, and just plain creepy.''

As I understand it, not only are they going to drug test athletes this
coming fall, but also any student who wants to be involved in extra-
curricular activities and any student who will be driving to school.

It's true that drug usage exists among high school students, but this
is neither a solution nor the answer.

Even though I will be out of high school by the time this is all
supposed to take effect, I still feel that it is a part of my job to
oppose this matter, because I have underclassmen friends that will
have to participate in this new program. I believe that the St. Johns
County School Board is the absolute worst committee that is being run
in our district.

Who are these people that come out with these ridiculous

I also would like for them to feel the pressures of being a high
school student for a day. What it feels like to be without privacy and
without a voice or a say on any topic that actually matters.

I keep thinking that actual education isn't even that big of an issue

It's all about drugs and violence and the need for

It's getting old, and even the students are noticing this and voicing
complaints among themselves. I commend Mr. Hendershot for actually
speaking out for the thousands of students who have learned to stay
quiet. Hopefully, in the coming years, the school systems will get
better and focus more on what's important.

Susan Whittaker,
St. Augustine
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