Pubdate: Thu, 27 Sep 2007
Source: Tribune-Georgian, The (GA)
Copyright: 2005sThe Tribune-Georgian
Author: Anastacia Cosner


Dear Editor,

In the article "Administrators try to keep school safe",
there were apparent inconsistencies in the logic behind Camden County
High School's tightening of their security on campus to keep students
out of danger. All students have a right to feel safe and comfortable
in their learning environment.

The administration reserves the right to randomly drug test any
student suspected of drug use, and a refusal to submit to such a test
would be perceived as an admission of guilt. This is a dangerous
violation of student privacy and independence. Especially in the case
of marijuana, drug tests do not accurately measure impairment, and
have been proven to be inconsistent, often times resulting in false
positive results. The active chemical in marijuana, THC, can remain in
one's system up to 45 days after exposure. While "harder drugs" (such
as cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and other commonly abused
prescription drugs) have average detection times of two to five days.

Current student drug testing methods are costly and ineffective at
addressing the most detrimental aspects of youth drug use (such as
impairment, addiction, and detecting the most serious drugs of abuse).
Students with drug problems should have access to resources like
counseling, extracurricular activities, and science-based

They should not be treated like criminals and delinquents. Treating
young people like they are not capable of making their own informed
decisions and taking personal responsibility for their actions is not
an effective way to curb deviant behavior on campus. The Camden County
High School officials should seriously reconsider their drug policies
so that they will accurately and effectively allow for students'
personal and academic development by looking at drugs as a public
health issue, not follow the poor example of the failed War on Drugs
by incorrectly categorizing substance abuse as a criminal/judicial


University of Maryland, College Park

Senator, College of Arts and Humanities

President, Students for Sensible Drug Policy

Secretary, SSDP Board of Directors
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