Pubdate: Sat, 04 Aug 2007
Source: Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX)
Copyright: 2007 Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, Texas
Author: Suzanne Wills


John Walters, President Bush's "drug czar," is using the tragedy of 
young people dying from use of "cheese" heroine to promote his 
current favorite program: random, suspicionless drug testing of all 
students. (See Thursday news story "Drug czar praises testing by 
Texas school districts.")

Walters' grants will redirect $1.67 million in Department of 
Education funds to test kits, test administrators and laboratories. 
Students must miss class time to be tested. Schools risk being sued 
in case of error.

The largest study of student drug testing ever done -- 76,000 
students -- was conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute 
for Social Research. It found no difference in illegal drug use 
between students in schools that test and those in schools that do not.

Parents are free to test their children if they suspect drug use. 
Their classmates shouldn't have to pay for the tests with larger 
class sizes, fewer teachers, fewer counselors, fewer coaches, less 
equipment and less time in class.

Drug testing programs neither improve students' education nor help 
them make good choices about drug use.

- -- Suzanne Wills,Drug Policy Forum of Texas,Dallas
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