Pubdate: Sun, 01 Apr 2007
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2007 The New York Times Company
Author: Priscilla Mainardi


To the Editor:

I have opposed random drug testing since it began two years ago at
Pequannock Township High School. My daughter had to agree to it to
join the tennis team. For her it is an unnecessary invasion of
privacy. Drug testing undermines the trust between my daughter and me,
built at home by example and by my active presence in her life. It is
not the school's responsibility to raise our daughter, but to teach

More distressing are the parents who sign their children up for
"voluntary" random testing, when it is not required for
extracurricular activities. Do the parents feel this somehow lets them
off the hook?

Administrators say the testing helps by "discouraging drug use among
some troubled youngsters." But these "troubled youngsters" are not
usually involved in school activities, and are therefore not tested.
This may be why only 1 percent of tests are positive and schools can
claim that tests are "a deterrent."

Those students with "non-negative" tests must have counseling, a
treatment plan, and a subsequent negative test, but nothing
"punitive." Maybe a little threat of punishment wouldn't hurt here.
But why punish everyone?

Priscilla Mainardi

Pompton Plains
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