Pubdate: [Sat, 21 Dec 1996]
Source: Skagit Valley Herald (WA)
Author: Allison Bigelow

I'm responding to a Dec.11 letter about drug-testing students at
Burlington-Edison High School. Two points must be considered:  One is that
some kids are going to attempt to alter their consciousness no matter what.
This drug test encourages kids to choose alcohol if they want to remain
active in extracurricular activities.

Although alcohol is legal, it can be lethal if you consume too much. It
also causes many health problems that may result in death.  Marijuana
consumption has not been responsible for even one death in recorded
history. Alcohol consumption can cause blackouts and who knows what could
happen to our children when they are drunk. Marijuana consumption can cause
someone to become high, and giddy, may even cause someone to become sleepy,
but there is never a time when a person high on marijuana will be in a
condition that she or he doesn't know what's going on. ...

The other point is that extracurricular activities help to round out the
personality of students. Many students may not even participate if they
need to submit to a pee test. What choice are we giving some students that
may be experimenting occasionally, mostly out of peer pressure? If they are
excluded from participating in wholesome activities what do they have left?

What about the majority of students at B-EHS that don't get tested because
they aren't participating in extracurricular activities?  Do we care if
they use drugs? What educational programs have we sacrificed to pay for the
elite to be drug-tested?

I too am very concerned about the rise in drug use among teens.  I feel
these drug tests encourage the very behavior they are trying to stop. Now
is the time to rationally look at what we're doing before we mess up a
wonderful group of young people.

Allison Bigelow