Pubdate: Mon, 25 Nov 2002
Source: Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)
Copyright: 2002 Winnipeg Free Press
Author: Mack Mcleod


In the article School division may extend drug testing (Nov. 19), the 
school board chairman and/or education minister are quoted as saying "do it 
right," and "do what is right" for the safety of students.

I propose that there is no right way to deprive someone of their privacy. 
The content of someone's blood or urine is a matter between themselves and 
their doctor.

In what I believe is a federal law, age 16 is when a person's medical state 
becomes their own business and no longer that of their parents. So it is 
the parents who have the right to demand a test of urine content for 
children and only the youngsters themselves as of age 16.

The use of random urine tests to locate drug offenders for the purpose of 
punishment is the same as a random search of people's homes for evidence of 
illegal activity. We would not condone it for ourselves and we should not 
subject children to an unreasonable search of their bodily fluids.

If you really want to help students, look for the ones who get poor grades, 
have discipline, behaviourial, attendance or family problems and offer them 
assistance. Show some interest in the lives of people who have problems, 
rather than inflicting an unreasonable search on those who are showing a 
healthy interest in social activity.

Subjecting anyone to a random drug test is a violation of the Canadian 
Charter of Rights and Freedoms, in that the security of the person is 
breached (Sec. 7 of the Charter). Not everyone has ignored it. I may not be 
able to recite it, but I know its relative substance and can sure look it 
up in a hurry.

Treating students like criminals will not serve the intended purpose, 
unless that purpose is to erode our basic freedoms in the name of 
controlling youth more closely.

Mack Mcleod

Thornhill, Ont.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Stevens