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Letter: Drug Testing in Schools Will Hinder Open Communication

New Jersey Policy Associate for the Drug Policy Alliance asks the Lacey Township School District to consider implementing an educational program rather than randomly drug testing its students

To the Editor:

I strongly urge the Lacey school district to reconsider its proposal to implement a random drug testing program for all students who participate in extracurricular activities (Super: 'We're Losing Kids' to Lacey's Drug Problem, Jan. 9).

Random student drug testing is opposed by the American Academy of Pediatrics' and its efficacy is not supported by scientific literature. Moreover, school administrators should consider the potential unintended and harmful consequences that may result from enforcing such a policy, such as the destruction of trust between students and adults at school and the hindrance of open communication about important and potentially life-threatening issues adolescents face. Involuntary drug testing may also actually deter participation in athletic activities, which are a proven means of helping students stay out of trouble with drugs.

The thousands of dollars the school district will spend on the drug testing program would better serve students if used to implement an educational program that promotes an honest dialogue between adults and young people -- one grounded in research, compassion and health.

Elizabeth Thompson
Policy Associate, New Jersey
Drug Policy Alliance

Harold Reynolds January 22, 2013 at 02:07 PM
If you are going to test you test ALL students not just the ones who participate in extracurricular activities.
tr January 22, 2013 at 02:43 PM
Typical educator answer to the problem. Do not spend the tax dollars on identifying the kids who need help, and forcing the parents to be parents,NOOOO, spend the tax dollars on more salaries and benefits of additional counselors, coachs, administators, etc,etc. so that we can keep brainwashing these kids on how wonderful the NJEA(teachers union) is at solving all of societies problems!!!! BOE meeting tonight January 22,2013 7pm. Go, get mad, and shout like you care about what is going on in your community.
Robert Yates January 22, 2013 at 04:05 PM
How may times and how many different ways can you tell someone that excessive drug use is bad and will most likely kill you? Why do we need to spend money to say this? Is it not obvious? It is a complete waste of time and money to regulate or legislate stupidity. Just have the kids watch Scarface and then ask them if they want to end up like that? If they want the transitory false power, the consequent addiction and almost certain death, then do drugs. If you want to be a productive member of society, do your homework; think critically; get a good education and find a good job, an do not do drugs. One thing we do know is that the illegality of drugs has done nothing to stem their usage. All it has done is waste a ton of money and has caused a bunch of ancillary drug deal associated murders.
Brian Holt January 22, 2013 at 08:45 PM
"Involuntary drug testing may also actually deter participation in athletic activities, which are a proven means of helping students stay out of trouble with drugs." -If you don't do drugs, then you have nothing to worry about. Humans have to urinate anyway, so it is not like they are going to be inconvenienced. "The thousands of dollars the school district will spend on the drug testing program would better serve students if used to implement an educational program that promotes an honest dialogue between adults and young people -- one grounded in research, compassion and health." -There already is an educational program that promotes an honest dialogue between adults and young people, it is called Health class. Back in my day you actually take Health class every year in school.

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