Pubdate: Sat, 13 Jul 2002
Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA)
Copyright: 2002 Richmond Newspapers Inc.
Author: Paul Miller


Editor, Times-Dispatch: Regarding the article, "No Drug-Test Plans in Local 
Schools," the Times-Dispatch probably should have waited a few months 
before making such a statement. The ink hasn't even dried on the majority 
opinion that schools may collect urine samples for participants in all 
student activities. The fact that they now can most likely means that one 
day they will.

Such is the nature of new tolerances to eroding constitutional protections. 
Today's extreme example from Oklahoma is upheld, and becomes tomorrow's 
norm throughout the nation.

Furthermore, that majority opinion does seem to open the door for testing 
of all students. The Court seems more interested in the perceived good that 
might result from urinalysis than it does with the violation of privacy, 
regardless of whether the student is a member of the chess club or not. 
Someone will make the legal argument, perhaps here in the Old Dominion, 
perhaps somewhere else. It will go to the Supreme Court. And then, long 
after we've grown accustomed to drug testing for extracurricular 
activities, the T-D will respond to the future Court ruling with an article 
about how Virginia schools don't have any plans for universal sweeps.

My only question is whether the funding to pay for all this testing will 
come from increases in my state income tax, sales tax, property tax, or 
personal-property tax.


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