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

Your Dec. 11 letter "Teen Drug Use: The testing has worked," has prompted
me to write.

It appears that a "horrific monster" is growing in our midst but it is not
only the specter of teen drug use. Burlington-Edison High School is
requiring mandatory drug testing for any student who wishes to participate
in extracurricular activities. This is an abhorrent lesson for our
children, teaching them only that their constitutional rights mean nothing.

If we truly want to teach our children to resist drugs, then a positive
approach is needed. To try to educate by eroding basic American freedoms is
a disaster waiting to happen. And one which will happen if we don't
reconsider our approach when dealing with the issues of teens and drugs.

The school spent a good sum of money for these drug tests that they could
have used in far better ways. Truthful education has proven time and again
to be the most effective means of dealing with teen drug use.  It's time to
start putting our limited monetary resources where they can do the ost good
for our children. Stop wasting money on drug testing.  Start funding
truthful education. Our children are depending on you.

Tom Hawkins
Grand Coulee