Pubdate: Tue, 17 Sep 2002
Source: Birmingham News, The (AL)
Copyright: 2002 The Birmingham News
Author: Jeremy Whiddon
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)
Bookmark: (Youth)
Bookmark: (Drug-Free Zones)


I understand that the Vestavia Board of Education thinks it has the 
students' best interest at heart, but its new drug testing policy is just 
plain old invasion of privacy.

Sure, alcohol, marijuana and numerous other drugs are illegal for 18- and 
19-year-olds, and some drugs for all of us. But what gives the school 
system the right to test for tobacco? How can the school system think that 
it is fair to suspend a player for using tobacco if the player is of legal 
age to purchase the tobacco? It is possible to be 19 in high school, which 
is over the legal age to purchase tobacco products. So how exactly can that 
person be ruled ineligible? If a person of legal age wants to chew or dip 
or smoke, that's his own stupidity. This decision is a matter of personal 
preference and should not be decided by the school board.

The Vestavia school board is crossing boundaries over this issue.

The board claims that the testing is random. I wonder what will happen when 
the top athlete in the school is suspended for the Hoover game for dipping 
snuff. For some reason, I bet his name never randomly gets called. It will 
always be the outcast, or the loner, or the kid with blue hair.

The new drug-testing policy is nothing more than another plan for 
controlling agencies to try to run the lives of normal people.

Vestavia needs to leave personal decisions on tobacco to the students and 
parents. As long as the student isn't smoking, dipping or chewing on school 
grounds, or at school functions, then it is none of the school's business. 
So go put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Jeremy Whiddon, Adamsville 
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