Pubdate: Sat, 01 Apr 2000
Date: 04/01/2000
Source: Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
Author: Dr. Raymond Seidler

If the principal of St Andrew's Cathedral School believes that it is
compassionate to drug test students, he should think again. Urine
testing even under stringent supervision is fraught with difficulty.

It creates a punitive and coercive dimension to a school's role in

The only reliable drug-testing technique which is tamper proof is hair
analysis, which quantifies the drug taken and the amount consumed. It
is very expensive.

Urine testing requires video surveillance or direct observation to be

This would be an onerous responsibility for a school and could
represent an invasion of a student's privacy.

Schools would be better served leaving drug detection to the experts
and focusing on drug education in an open and inclusive manner.

Policing abstinence is an impossibility. It will, inevitably, fail and
further entrench the us and them divide between students and their

Dr Raymond Seidler,
Kings Cross