Skip to comments.Pa. lawmaker wants drug tests for high schoolers
Posted on 01/22/2004 8:12:56 AM PST by the_devils_advocate_666
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Following up on plans outlined in President Bush's annual address to the American people, a Pennsylvania lawmaker formally introduced a new program Wednesday encouraging public schools to test students for drug use.
The $23 million testing plan, targeted at grades 8-12, would not be mandatory, but parents who do not want their children to participate would have to opt out. It is sure to draw critics who argue the pilot program will invade student privacy.
But Rep. John Peterson, R-Pa., said efforts to get youngsters off drugs far outweigh any concerns over their privacy.
''This is about helping kids,'' Peterson said, noting that recent studies indicate 54 percent of high school seniors in 2001 had tried an illicit drug.
''In my view, I'd like to see everybody tested,'' Peterson said.
Courts have previously upheld the right of schools to test students involved in extracurricular activities, including sports, for drug use. Peterson's plan would give individual schools wide discretion in random testing of all high school students by a doctor or other medical review officer.
Drug test results would only be shared with parents and school officials -- and would not be turned over to police or law enforcement authorities, Peterson said.
The president of the national Parent-Teacher Association said any drug testing programs would have to involve strong parent involvement to avoid opposition.
''We have very strong beliefs that parents need to be involved and that students' privacy need to be protected,' said National PTA President Linda Hodge.
Translation: Rep. John Peterson, RINO-Pa., said efforts to be a busybody far outweigh any concerns over rights.
Further gov intrusion into what should be a parent's responsibility is not a conservative value. It's time to start weeding some of these RINOs who don't understand this concept out of the party.
Opt Out? What kind of attention will that get you? 23 million for a testing plan when you can go down the street and get a home test at the local drug store. Leave this to the parents, please. It's facism at it's finest.
"Drug test results would only be shared with parents and school officials -- and would not be turned over to police or law enforcement authorities, Peterson said."
Assurances today, to be removed at a later date, just like those stupid seat belt laws.
This may seem trite, but, perhaps it would be better to resolve issues with school policy in PA first. Consider, for example, in Hazelton, a teenage girl missed 75 days of school, had below average grades, and was still promoted to 10th grade. The situation is even worse now.
The mother drives the kid to school, and she walks in, and then leaves. The mother tried counseling, but the kid refused to go. A troubled kid indeed.
How does the scool and the justice system respond? They charge the mother and fine her over $300. She does not have the money so she makes payments. The kid continues, and the judge fines her another $300. Social services says not our problem, it is a school problem, and school says not ours, talk to social services.
For a single mother trying to make ends meet, the system in Hazelton has completely failed her.
Maybe it's worth $23 million to teach kids not to trust the government.
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