Pubdate: Sun, 13 Feb 2000
Source: Munster Times (IN)
Copyright: 2000 The Munster Times
Contact:  601 45th Street, Munster, IN 46321
Fax: (219) 933-3249
Author: Paul Hutchinson


It's a shame the Lake Central School Board believes that urine tests will
somehow keep kids off drugs. A couple of questions: Where is the research --
unbiased research, not that promulgated by the drug-testing industry -- that
proves the efficacy of drug-testing students? You shouldn't be surprised to
learn that no reliable research exists.

Secondly, if drug testing must be imposed, why is it necessary to enrich an
outside corporation to perform this service? I know from personal experience
that a charge of $29 per test is triple the amount charged by many labs.
That would mean a 200 percent markup for Indiana Testing Inc. Additionally,
reliable tests can now be performed on-site without the extra expense and
hassle of sending samples to a laboratory. No special skills are required,
and the test kits are relatively inexpensive, at least by the standards of
Indiana Testing Inc.

The real issue, though, is why test at all? Kids will make their decisions
about drugs based upon many factors. Fear of a drug-positive test isn't
necessarily a deterrent. In fact, some kids will revel in the notoriety of
testing positive. After all, it brings them attention.

Meanwhile, students learn through the testing process that their bodies
don't belong to them but are subject to search and seizure at the whim of
government. And what of the Fourth Amendment? And the Fifth? Or is the Bill
of Rights no longer relevant in today's high school environment?

Give kids the education they need and deserve in order to make correct
choices in their lives. But don't treat them like chattel. And remember the
words of Thomas Jefferson: "A society that will trade a little liberty for a
little order will lose both, and deserve neither."

Paul Hutchinson
Englewood, Colorado
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