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


To the Editor:

As a 17-year-old junior at Montville Township High School, I find the
idea of random drug testing in schools to be a gross violation of
students' civil liberties.

School officials should certainly be able to take action based on
students' actual behavior during school hours, but it is not their
place to investigate students' irrelevant weekend activities.
Furthermore, extracurricular activities are an excellent alternative
to drug use, and pushing students away from them (either by making
consent forms mandatory in the first place or by punishing drug use)
only serves to take that alternative away from at-risk students.

Supporters of the tests say that the consequences of a positive result
are not punishments, but how can they be called anything else? They
take away privileges because of bad behavior, not to mention
stigmatizing students in the school community (it's unrealistic to say
that other students wouldn't find out). This is neither a just nor an
effective solution to the problem of drug use.

Allegra Stout,

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