Pubdate: Fri, 20 Sep 2002
Source: Columbia Daily Herald (TN)
Contact:  2002 Columbia Daily Herald
Author: Stephen Heath
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)
Bookmark: (Youth)


Columbia Academy headmaster Bill Thrasher seemed offended that an 
out-of-town letter writer would be critical of his school's new 
drug-testing program for students. He maligned the home of this writer as 
being the "drug and murder capital of the world," a harsh and inaccurate 

He wonders why the writer did not "call and express his concerns to us in 
private?" Seems rather simple - the writer is like me and millions of other 
parents who take offense and object to schools which require children to 
drop their pants on demand and urinate into a cup in front of witnesses as 
a means of demonstrating personal integrity.

We believe that such policy decisions should be discussed in the open to 
better expose them for just how offensive and degrading they are to those 
who do not wish to have their children abused in this manner.

I have three teens, and if I want to know what drugs they may or may not be 
using, I will talk to them myself. Parents who are too cowardly to speak 
honestly with their kids about drug use may abdicate their role and support 
the school doing their job for them, but not all parents agree with such 
cop-out behavior.

Perhaps most astonishing to me was Thrasher's own admission via earlier 
news reports in The Herald that, "... He doesn't believe the school has a 
serious drug problem, and no students tested positive last year." But 
regardless of this, all students are required to provide urine on demand 
for a mythical problem?

Here's hoping that the Columbia Academy does not hide this policy when 
advertising and promoting their school to future parents and teens. They 
should put it on the front page of their marketing brochures, so that those 
who wish for the school to do the important job of parenting can recognize 
immediately the right place to enroll their children.

Stephen Heath, Clearwater, Fla.
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