Pubdate: Wed, 03 Jul 2002
Source: Oklahoman, The (OK)
Copyright: 2002 The Oklahoma Publishing Co.
Author: Steve Schmidt, and Lisa Cook
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)



The recent Supreme Court ruling permitting random drug testing on students 
who participate in any extracurricular activity surprised me. The arguments 
of the majority position seem to defy common sense. How could enforced 
testing not violate one's right to privacy?

Certainly it's understandable in the workplace, where safety is an issue, 
and I can see that principle applying to some school activities. But to 
impose it on kids who join the choir or Future Farmers of America would 
actually hinder efforts to get kids involved in after-school activities, 
the very thing being used to help keep them off drugs.

Justice Clarence Thomas' argument that our war against drugs makes the 
invasion of students' privacy insignificant is as ridiculous as saying that 
our war against terrorism warrants the random tapping of telephones. 
Perhaps we should apply this ruling to members of the court themselves and 
impose periodic random drug testing on the justices.

Steve Schmidt

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Unneeded Expense


Who will foot the bill for the new drug screening option for children in 
after-school activities? Our school districts can't afford to employ enough 
teachers. A few years back the taxpayers passed House Bill 1017, which was 
supposed to limit the number of students in a classroom. And now school 
districts will just pay fines instead of hiring enough teachers to lower 
the number of students in each class. This means we're back to 35 
children-plus in one classroom. Are schools becoming drug czars or are they 
there to educate our children?

Lisa Cook

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MAP posted-by: Beth