Pubdate: Thu, 31 Aug 2006
Source: Springfield News-Leader (MO)
Copyright: 2006 The Springfield News-Leader
Author: Stephen Heath


It's interesting to note that the only ones who purport coerced
urine-testing of students to be "vital" are either government
officials or salespeople for so called "drug-testing" companies.
Professional urine inspector Bill Loomis tells critics of
suspicion-less testing that it's all okey-dokey with "more students
than not." As a parent of three recent high school graduates, I submit
it's likely fewer complain because many teenagers feel helpless to
speak out against such intrusive actions from school officials or
their designated contractors.

Readers should be aware that less than 2 percent of public schools do
such "random" testing without probable cause. The primary reason?
University of Michigan researchers concluded urine or hair testing to
detect drug metabolites does not deter student drug use.

The research found students' drug use in testing schools and
nontesting schools were "virtually identical."

A secondary reason is the flat-out insult it is to take the 70 percent
to 80 percent of students who are honestly drug-free and tell them
that their word is insufficient testimony. They must instead proffer
up a cup of urine as proof of their integrity.

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 shared bodily fluids
are a prerequisite to honest communication.

Stephen Heath, public relations director, Drug Policy Forum of

Clearwater, Fla.
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