My Turn: Random Drug Tests Undermine Trust 

My Turn: Random Drug Tests Undermine Trust 
Posted by CN Staff on October 01, 2002 at 07:21:12 PT
By Hayden Kaden
Source: Juneau Empire AK
To those school board candidates who favor random drug testing for students who participate in extracurricular activities - have you really thought about this or were you merely parroting some sound bite spun off by the "war on drugs?"Why is random drug testing of students participating in extracurricular activities a bad idea? Let me mention eight points which militate against this ill-thought out idea. 
These are gleaned from an excellent Web site: http://www.drugtestingfails.orgRandom drug testing damages parent-child and teacher-student relationships. Drug testing young people when they are not actually suspected of using drugs sends the message to them that they are not to be trusted or respected. If kids are not trusted or respected by elders, including teachers, counselors and coaches, they are unlikely to be open and honest with them about problems, including drug usage. We as parents are the ones best suited to make decisions about raising our children, including if, when, and where they should be tested for drug use. Random, mandatory testing takes away from parental decision-making power.The American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Education Association, and the American Public Health Association joined together with many others in opposing suspicionless drug testing in Oklahoma and argued, among other things, that participants in extracurricular activities are far less likely to use tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs than their non-involved peers and that testing students deters them from participation with many negative consequences.Drug testing is a waste of money to school districts hard pressed for funding for basic educational programs. Recently, the Dublin, Ohio, Board of Education decided to end a two-year program that cost $70,000 to test 1,500 students with only 20 positive hits and to hire a full-time drug and alcohol counselor instead. Additionally, there are no good studies that show that random testing actually decreases teen drug use.Extracurricular activities are among the most effective anti-drug programs. According to the U.S. Department of Education and Department of Justice, most students drug use occurs between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. when school is out and parents aren't home from work. According to the National Institute of Out of School Time, students who spend one to four hours a week in extracurricular activities are 49 percent less likely to use drugs and 37 percent less likely to become teen parents, than students who don't participate. Random testing deters student involvement in activities, which are most likely to keep them off drugs.Random testing mostly detects marijuana use, for up to two weeks after the fact, and does not detect prior alcohol, methamphetamine, ecstasy, or cocaine use, substances which quickly leave the body. Those who are determined to outwit a drug test can easily find a way to do so, or just switch to other more harmful drugs which aren't easily detectable.Drug testing threatens the privacy rights of students. Alaskans do have a constitutional right of privacy. Mr. Van Slyke and Mr. Kikendall both used the analogy of extracurricular activities being privileges, thus you give up your rights in order to participate. Well, driving is a privilege. Would either of them gladly pull over for a suspicionless, random sampling of their urine by the troopers at any time? I would hope not.Certain students may be unfairly targeted for sampling by "profiling" based on their ideas or appearance or racial or economic background.Lastly, drug testing companies are "big business" and, as such, are ultimately accountable to their shareholders and to their bottom line. Do you really want to turn over your own parental responsibilities and the educational objectives of our public schools to for-profit corporations.Mr. Kaden, 59, is a 35-year resident of Alaska, including 10 years in Juneau, a retired attorney and a long-time activist for civil rights and civil liberties.Newshawk: puff_tuffSource: Juneau Empire (AK)Author: Hayden Kaden Published: Monday, September 30, 2002 Copyright: 2002 Southeastern Newspaper CorpWebsite: letterstotheeditor juneauempire.comCannabisNews Drug Testing Archives
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Comment #1 posted by DdC on October 01, 2002 at 08:39:26 PT
It Was Not the Drug, but the Criminalisation
By Fulton Gillespie 
Source: Guardian Unlimited I had been expecting Scott's death for some time. But when it came, just a month from his 34th birthday, it was none the less devastating. The blow was felt more keenly by his four siblings, especially his elder sister, Fiona, who was closest to him and who had tried so hard for so long to help him. But none of them, all drug-free, had suspected that he was so far down the road. The last time I saw him, just four days before he died, I knew he would not see 40 and said so. No one wanted to believe me. 
continued... 2000 non-invasive 30-second impairment test. "FIT 2000 is directly relevant to employers interested in high quality, exacting, detail work, as well as general safety and quality, without violating the privacy of the employee' Ronald Reagan, at the urging of then Vice President George Bush, appointed Carlton Turner as the White House Drug (czar) Advisor in 1981. Soon after Turner left office, Nancy Reagan recommended that no corporation be permitted to do business with the Federal government without having a urine purity policy in place to show their loyalty. Carlton Turner became a rich man in what has now become a huge growth industry: urine-testing. ACS - Division of Analytical Chemistry - DAC Awards
Bush Drugczar John P. Walters 1980 How Convenient!Just Say No To Drug Tests Drug Impairment Levels Far Off Case Pitting Ideology Against Law Foundation)
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