Pubdate: Tue, 04 Sep 2001
Source: Times-Picayune, The (LA)
Copyright: 2001 The Times-Picayune
Author: Joe Cook


Mayor Marc Morial's recent proposal to use city money to pay for a 
"comprehensive testing and treatment program" at one Orleans Parish public 
school mainly attacks the problem from the wrong end and treats students 
like inmates in prison.

Unquestionably, the students need help from more tax dollars. We don't 
need, however, to waste public money on suspicionless drug testing at a 
time when our public schools lack certified teachers in many subjects and 
students have to attend overcrowded classes in buildings that may not pass 
fire and safety code inspection.

Drug use, especially of legal drugs like nicotine and alcohol, poses a 
public heath problem.

But with limited resources available, why not concentrate on transmitting 
honest information about the effect of all drugs, since we are talking 
about schools and education?

As too often happens, certain politicians want to divert attention from the 
underlying cause and prevention of social problems with window dressing 
that takes away individual freedom in the name of safety and security.

Joe Cook

Executive Director

ACLU of Louisiana

New Orleans
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