HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Reaction Mixed To In-School Drug Testing
Pubdate: Fri, 01 Nov 2002
Source: Winnipeg Sun (CN MB)
Copyright: 2002 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Doug Lunney, Staff Reporter


WINKLER -- The sign welcoming people to Winkler says it's the "people who 
make the difference," and they certainly have a difference of opinion 
regarding a proposed policy of random drug-testing for high school athletes.

The policy, which could be implemented as a pilot project for this school 
year at Garden Valley Collegiate, has been met by a mixed reaction among 

"I don't think it's right," Grade 10 student Curtis Piper, 16, said 
yesterday. "If (students) do drugs it's their own fault.

"I'm not one of the druggies, but there are a lot of druggies in this town. 
Most of them use marijuana and a little bit of other stuff."

Brock Klassen, a 14-year-old volleyball player in Grade 9, and Briar 
Loewen, a Grade 11 soccer player, gave the policy the thumbs up.

"I think it is a good idea," said Loewen, 16, who also plays baseball for 
the Garden Valley Zodiacs. "They're trying to get athletes to say 'no' and 
I think it'll prevent a lot of people from getting too deep into a habit 
that they don't necessarily need."

In a friendly town where many students leave their bikes unlocked at 
school, one might think drugs wouldn't be a problem.

"I think in any high school there is a problem with drugs," Loewen said. "I 
think one of the biggest problems is that people deny there is one, but 
definitely there is a drug problem.

"But the athletes that are serious enough about their sports won't be 
deterred from playing."

The subject has become a hot topic among students, Loewen said.

"I think a lot of people feel it's an invasion of their rights and they 
think that if athletes are being tested, why isn't the choir, the drama 
group and a lot of other clubs within the school," she said.

"It's an OK idea, but it's their own lives and if they want to do it after 
school or on weekends, let them," said Grade 11 student Shane Tholenaer, 16.

"(Drug use is) not hurting anybody at school," offered Grade 11 student Ike 
Fehr, 17. "If they want to hurt their own bodies, it's their choice."
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom