Pubdate: Sun, 12 Oct 2003
Source: Birmingham News, The (AL)
Copyright: 2003 The Birmingham News
Author: Dawn Palmer


This is in response to an article titled "Shelby student drug use down." It 
appears the point the article was trying to make was, because of the random 
drug testing of high school students, drug use among high school students 
was down. But because sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students are not 
drug tested, their drug use is up.

It really amazes me how many people would actually believe this type of survey.

For one, the answers from this type of survey are taken from the children. 
Children do not take these surveys seriously. They are likely to write 
anything down.

I think drug tests are not the answer to the drug problem. Drug tests leave 
our children with a sense of distrust. The whole idea is to make our kids 
feel good about themselves. We need funding, not for drug tests but for 
more activities for our children in school and after school. Keeping our 
children occupied would be a more positive approach to decreasing drug use.

I'm not sure whether the DARE program and similar programs are more harmful 
than helpful. They keep drug use on our children's minds rather than 
getting their minds off of drugs. The same thing goes for drug testing. 
Let's get our children's minds off drugs and on to something more positive. 
Do we really want our kids being drug-tested in kindergarten?

Dawn Palmer
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