Pubdate: Tue, 14 Mar 2006
Source: Daily Press (Newport News,VA)
Copyright: 2006 The Daily Press
Author:  Mike Bonfiglio
Bookmark: (Drug Test)
Bookmark: (Youth)


March 14, 2006 Cooler heads prevailed, and more of our children and 
parents will be served by the compromise reached by the 
Williamsburg-James City County School Board. Drug and alcohol abuse, 
believe it or not, often begins in middle school. This policy will 
serve many more students and parents than the original policy.

In my 28 years in education, it was apparent that many parents are 
afraid to do this on their own for fear that "my child will not like 
me." To ask a government agency to drug test your child is like 
saying you are not capable of doing this on your own. It is your 
right as a parent. If parents exercised their rights, we would have 
far fewer problems than we have now.

Why is it that children know more about drugs and alcohol than their 
parents? Why are parents being "fooled" by their children? A 
comprehensive drug and alcohol prevention program must begin with a 
program designed to educate parents as well as students. It will be 
interesting to see how many parents do attend educational sessions 
designed for them.

What is wrong with a compromise? To claim this is a watered-down 
policy is ludicrous. This nation was built on compromise. To claim 
that the School Board succumbed to political wrangling is to deny 
that most of the members are elected.

What we have now is a way for those who seek the help of the schools 
to get it and for those who wish to exercise their parental rights to 
do so on their own. The real winners were our children, for now there 
is no chance of any child being labeled by others. Now there is no 
excuse for any parent to blame anyone else for the actions of their children.

Parents and students, the ball is in our court now, where it belongs. 
It is time for all of us to step up; sign the permission form or take 
care of this as a family. Hooray for political wrangling, and hooray 
for compromise.

Mike Bonfiglio


Point Option/New Summits

Newport News Public Schools
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