Unwarranted Drug Tests

Unwarranted Drug Tests
Posted by FoM on March 25, 2002 at 08:28:02 PT
A Boston Globe Editorial
Source: Boston Globe 
Klahoma school officials are hooked on drug-testing students. It's up to the Supreme Court to point out that when this habit is abused, it violates the US Constitution. The problem began in 1998 when Oklahoma's Tecumseh public school district set up a policy to administer drug tests to any student participating in an extracurricular activity - from the band to Future Farmers of America. According to court documents, tests occurred about eight times during the 1998-99 academic year. 
Students were tested for amphetamines, marijuana, cocaine, opiates, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines - but not nicotine or alcohol.Defenders of the policy say tests send a tough message that drugs won't be tolerated. But such ''suspicionless searches'' violate students' Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches. Schools can search students without probable cause as long as the search meets the legal standard of ''reasonableness.'' In 1995, the Supreme Court ruled that schools in Vernonia, Ore., could test athletes for drugs. But this decision was made in response to what the court called ''special needs.'' In the Oregon case, the schools had seen a jump in drug-related discipline problems. Students were said to be in a state of rebellion. The district court found that athletes were leaders of the drug culture. Coaches saw some of these athletes risk harm or injury to themselves by behavior that was attributed to drug use. Officials tried but failed to fight the problem with special presentations and a drug-sniffing dog. And the justices said that school athletes already surrender some privacy by agreeing to medical examinations and use of common locker rooms and showers. There is no comparable threat of harm or disorder in Oklahoma. There is no evidence that student members of the band or choir, for example, use drugs, or harm themselves because of drug use, or encourage others to use drugs, or undermine the authority of educators. Marching these students to the bathroom and handing them a container is an unreasonable - hence unconstitutional - invasion of privacy, and it is silly.The Oklahoma policy seems to be based on fearful stereotypes of drug-glazed adolescents, not on the evidence. In hearings last week Justice Anthony Kennedy seemed gripped by this fear when he told the lawyer of the family that sued the Oklahoma schools: ''No parent would send their child to a `druggie' school, except perhaps your client.''What these parents and their children really want is a fair school where the Constitution holds sway. That is something the high court should defend. This story ran on page A18 of the Boston Globe on 3/25/2002.Source: Boston Globe (MA)Published: March 25, 2002Copyright: 2002 Globe Newspaper CompanyContact: letter globe.comWebsite: Articles:Student Privacy vs. Safety Student Rights Indignities - Drug Testing for Everybody!
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Comment #5 posted by Jose Melendez on March 26, 2002 at 05:44:58 PT
Do you support the widespread use of drug testing for all students? 35.4%
Total Votes: 1012vote now:ttp://
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Comment #4 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on March 25, 2002 at 19:12:30 PT
  There's a poll at the Jackson Sun website on this very issue of random drug tests for students. It's running now about 2/3 against the idea. Please take a minute and cast your vote.
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Comment #3 posted by ekim on March 25, 2002 at 18:10:54 PT:
US MI: Editorial: Drugs In Schools
US MI: Editorial: Drugs In Schools
Newshawk: Sledhead
Pubdate: Mon, 25 Mar 2002
Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)
Copyright: 2002 Detroit Free Press
Contact: letters
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)
Bookmark: (Youth)DRUGS IN SCHOOLS Random Testing Of Students Is Wrong Response Some schools' attempts to do random drug tests on students involved in after-school activities goes way too far. The U.S. Supreme Court should not buy their arguments that this is a reasonable response to the problem of drug use among young people. Too many kids still use drugs -- from alcohol and marijuana to inhalants and, increasingly, ecstasy. Fighting that problem is certainly within the state's interest. But taking urine samples from any young person who wants to be active in school -- without any suspicion of drug use -- is an invasive overreaction. In fact, it could be counter-productive, driving students away from school instead of keeping them active and engaged, which might divert them from temptation. Being involved in a club or a play doesn't compromise students' constitutional right to privacy. The Fourth Amendment doesn't discriminate between kids who participate in school activities and those who don't; it prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures for all of them. In the past, justices ruled that high school athletes could be tested. The court reasoned the school was responsible for students' health, which could be jeopardized by mixing sports and drugs. That argument doesn't translate easily to chess and choir. Knowing how important it is to keep students involved, groups as diverse as the American Academy of Pediatrics, National Education Association and National Association of Social Workers have filed friend-of-the-court briefs in opposition to the policy. So has the National Council on Drug and Alcohol Dependence, which should know something about the best strategy for fighting drug use. Getting a driver's license should be a rite of teen passage; getting drug-tested should not. 
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Comment #2 posted by Jose Melendez on March 25, 2002 at 17:53:53 PT
Drug War is TREASON
From:  The popular herbal supplement kava may be linked to serious liver injury, the Food and Drug Administration warned Monday, urging consumers to see a doctor at the first sign of symptoms.
People who already have liver problems, or who take medications that can harm the liver, should ask a doctor before taking kava, the FDA said.
The FDA began investigating the blockbuster-selling herb after a previously healthy 45-year-old woman used kava and suddenly required a liver transplant. European health officials report 25 similar cases of liver toxicity, including four transplants.
As a result, Canada has urged consumers not to take kava until the safety question is settled; sales were halted in Switzerland and France and suspended in Britain; and Germany is acting to make kava a prescription drug.
The FDA hasn't concluded if kava, or its use together with some other supplement or medication, is truly to blame. But the seriousness of side effects, and other countries' actions, made FDA officials decide it was time to alert Americans even as they struggle to solve the mystery.Note: While the FDA has suggested that consumption of excessive alcohol while taking pain relievers or over the counter medications, the agency remains irresponsibly silent on liver toxicity caused by alcoholic beverages by themselves, or the fact that smoking is extremely inadvisable for those who already have liver damage. Whether or not politics plays a role in warnings to the public is a subject of little debate, as the agency in question has been disallowed by congress authority over at least tobacco, and it is highly likely and obvious that alcohol and pharmaceutical companies go to great financial lengths to assure they are protected.
Alcohol and Health In 1990, the World Health Organisation estimated that globally alcohol accounted for 3.5 per cent of the total of days lost to death and disability.
This exceeded the cost to life and longevity caused by
smoking. The explanation of this finding is that in addition to chronic diseases that affect drinkers after many years of heavy use, alcohol also contributes to traumatic outcomes that kill or disable is proportionately high numbers of young people, resulting in many years of disability-free life being lost. In terms of mortality, even if allowance is made for alcohol's supposed protective effect in regard to coronary heart disease, globally in 1990, alcohol still caused over 3/4 million more deaths than it prevented. The burden of alcohol-related disease is highest in the developed countries, particularly Europe, the continent with the highest levels of alcohol consumption. Within WHO European Region, alcohol products are responsible for around 9 per cent of the total disease burden. As well as deaths from chronic diseases such as alcohol-related liver disease and cirrhosis, between 40% and 60% of all deaths from intentional and unintentional injury are alcohol-related.
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Comment #1 posted by p4me on March 25, 2002 at 09:48:06 PT
the madness of government
Students were tested for amphetamines, marijuana, cocaine, opiates, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines - but not nicotine or alcohol.So they do not want to test for nicotine. Now how can a reasonable person not be upset that they completely overlook the most deadly drug in the world. The government policy toward drugs is an insanity in itself. It is time to march and we should march often. This election is critical in restoring sanity to the political process. Vote against all incumbents, the f'ed up bastards.
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