Pubdate: Thu, 03 Jun 2004
Source: Daily Independent, (Ashland, KY)
Copyright: 2004 The Daily Independent, Inc.
Author: Stephen Heath


It's interesting to note that the only ones who purport coerced drug
testing of students is "vital" are those being paid to do the tests.
Suggestions that accuracy can be fully assured are false. At best, the
level of error can be reduced, but there is no "100 percent" success
rate for any drug tests.

But why test at all? University of Michigan researchers concluded drug
testing does not deter student drug use. The research, published in
the Journal of School Health, culled data from surveys of students in
722 secondary schools across the nation from 1998 to 2001. They found
students' drug use in testing schools and non-testing schools were
"virtually identical."

As for those parents and school faculty who endorse such a policy,
theirs should be the first pants unzipped. After all, if a urine
sample is necessary to prove personal integrity, they should lead by
example. These parents and faculty should prop a mirror in front of
themselves so that they can watch how ridiculous, stupid and degrading
it is to prove your purity in such a manner.

Another person must be present when the specimen is offered. Better
yet, have a neighbor they don't know very well do the monitoring. This
more accurately recreates the scene which will be asked of teens.

Our kids need to know the dangers related to drug abuse. This
information should come from parents and educators. In neither case
will that information be more openly received if a full urine cup is a
prerequisite to honest communication.

Parents who disagree with coerced drug testing of their teens need to
speak up and tell the schools to "Just Say No."

Stephen Heath

Public Relations Director

Drug Policy Forum of Florida

Clearwater, Fla.
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