Pubdate: Sun, 10 Jun 2007
Source: Journal Standard, The (Freeport, IL)
Copyright: 2007 The Journal Standard
Author: Stephen Heath


As a father of two recent high school graduates, I'd  like to concur
with letter writer Kirk Muse that urine  testing students randomly
simply motivates those  inclined to experimental drug use to gravitate
towards  heavy impact and water soluble narcotics and speed.

Even more discouraging is the message such random,  suspicionless
urine testing of students sends to the  almost two-thirds who will in
fact be drug free.

They tell us honestly, "I don't use illicit drugs". And  those backing
the testing reply, "Your word is  insufficient proof. You must
demonstrate your integrity  with a sample of your bodily waste."

It's clear most parents object to the idea of coercing  such bodily
fluid samples from their teenagers. Only  19% of public schools have
drug testing policies and  barely a tenth of those - about 2% of all
schools - do  such 'random' testing without probable cause.

The reason? As noted by the University of Michigan,  random testing
of teenagers' urine has no measureable  effect on illicit drug use by
the student populations  tested. And it most certainly inhibits honest
  communication between teens and parents. That's because  demanding
urine samples without cause essentially tells  our drug-free teenagers
that their word cannot be  trusted.

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 a full urine cup is
a  prerequisite to honest communication.

Stephen Heath

Clearwater FL
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake