Pubdate: Sun 28 November 1999
Source: St. Augustine Record (FL)
Copyright: 1999 The St. Augustine Record
Contact:  P.O. Box 1630, St. Augustine, FL 32085
Fax: (904)829-6664
Author: Mike Millard


This letter is written in response to Mr. Tommy Allen's defense of
arbitrary drug testing of public school students.

I urge Mr. Allen to reconsider his position on this

Sir, please reread your essay.

In the beginning of his essay, Mr. Allen stresses the responsibility
to protect the students' constitutional rights, a very admirable idea.
However, he then spends a considerable amount of space elaborating on
the national drug problem.

I don't believe one can compare national statistics to individual

It's a little bit like comparing apples and oranges; they just aren't
the same. The essay closes endorsing his support for the drug testing
policy ``because it was written by parents, students, teachers, and
coaches.'' That's it?

Popular support in no way warrants a concept admittance. Mr. Allen,
take a moment, step back and think of all the very bad ideas in the
history of the world that had popular support.

I am able to think of a litany of atrocities; the Spanish Inquisition,
the Salem witch trials, the 1930 amendments to the German
Constitution, the internment of Japanese-American citizens in the
1940's, the Jim Crow laws, etc., etc., etc. These events were all
legal and hugely popular, except with the people negatively affected
by these laws.

In order to teach our children about Constitutional rights, we should
encourage the development of a high school curriculum that discusses
the protections afforded by our Constitution, one of which is
protection against unreasonable search and seize (oops I forgot, we're
talking about minors.

They have no rights yet). Maybe if we abuse them enough now they will
grow up too ignorant to know that it is illegal to perform
unsubstantiated drug tests, which would render them easier to control
as adults.

Mr. Allen, as a member of the school board, you have a phenomenal
opportunity to face the parents, students, teachers, and coaches that
have come up with this goofy program and tell them, sorry folks, but
this just isn't right.

Please tell them that an arbitrary invasion of a person's privacy is
wrong and it just doesn't matter how many people support an invasive
drug-testing program - it's still wrong!

Tell them that in our community we don't know what all the answers
are, but we do know enough not to respond to drug abuse by
hysterically casting a net of suspicion over all of our children.

Tell them our students are considered innocent until proven

We trust them until they violate our trust and that we can generally
handle our own family problems. Stand up to the forces of tyranny.

Please, go ahead and give a copy of your article to the parents,
students, teachers, and coaches that developed this program.

Show them the part about the violent, thieving, class-skipping,
property destroying marijuana users. Tell them that as small as St.
Johns County, is, our law enforcement officials already apprehend more
misdemeanor juvenile drug users than almost any other county police
force in Florida. We truly don't need to stick a jar between every
kid's legs? It is just not right.

Mike Millard, 
St. Augustine
- ---
MAP posted-by: Derek Rea