Pubdate: Mon, 08 Aug 2005
Source: Athens News, The (OH)
Copyright: 2005, Athens News
Author: Deni Naffziger
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)
Bookmark: (Students - United States)


We live in a time when people feel the need to watch and be watched. 
Whether it's our fear of terrorists or our fear of 16-year-old 
cheerleaders, never has this nation's pervasive paranoia felt closer to 
home than when I read in a recent Athens NEWS that Alexander Local School 
District is instituting drug testing for all athletes, cheerleaders and 
students who drive to school.

This is happening despite the fact that drug testing will be costly, 
despite the fact that most parents do not want their children to be treated 
like suspects, and despite the fact that we supposedly live in a democratic 
society where the input of citizens is (supposed to be) genuinely 
considered -- and debate encouraged -- the Alexander School Board has acted 
against all reason in the face of a Constitution that guarantees certain 

If my child were a student at Alexander, I would send him/her to a 
different school that values education above tyranny. I might even 
encourage all the athletes and cheerleaders to take a stand and find an 
interest that wouldn't involve urinating in a cup in front of suspicious 
authority figures.

Rather than use prison tactics to teach our young people, I'd like to 
suggest that the board at Alexander consider a more creative approach, a 
more genuine, dare I say, educational approach. Don't teach our young 
people to be afraid, as so many of their elders seem to be. Instead, teach 
them a healthy respect for themselves and the society in which they should 
play an active and important role.

Deni Naffziger

Jeff Lane

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