Pubdate: Sat, 29 Jun 2002
Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)
Copyright: 2002 Detroit Free Press
Author: Steven Kaplan
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)


The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling permitting random drug testing of students 
who participate in extracurricular activities other than athletics is 
counterproductive and misguided.

Teachers and counselors instinctively know that a student who participates 
in an after-school activity such as drama, band, forensics, art or music is 
much less likely to use cocaine, marijuana or alcohol than a student who 
does not participate in any extracurricular programs.

We should be encouraging high school students to apply their time 
productively by engaging them in enriching activities. Students who refrain 
from ingesting drugs or alcohol might decide not to partake in 
extracurricular activities as a result of the invasion of privacy, 
humiliation and embarrassment associated with having to provide random 
urine samples.

Seven years ago, our highest court prudently approved the practice of 
allowing random drug testing of student athletes. The new decision 
permitting random drug testing of the students least likely to ingest 
alcohol and illegal drugs is illogical.

Public school leaders probably will recognize that drug tests should be 
administered to these active, stable students only when evidence exists 
that they indeed are using alcohol or illegal drugs.

Steven Kaplan

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Macomb County

Mt. Clemens
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