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Good Students Are Bad Targets for Drug Tests

July 02, 2002

Re "Court's Message to Students: Just Say No to the Chess Club," Commentary, June 28: Over two years, 243 students were tested; only three students tested positive [in the Pottawatomie school district in Tecumseh, Okla.]. The Office of National Drug Control Policy found that in a study carried out by the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System it was reported that among high school students throughout the U.S. in 1999, 26.7% reported being current users of marijuana. Almost half (47.2%) of the high school students surveyed reported using marijuana at least once.

The notion of testing students involved in extracurricular activities obviously does not bring the suspected results. Drug-testing good students does not accomplish the goals because these students are obviously not users or, even worse, abusers. It would be much more logical to test students who are failing classes, exhibiting bad citizenship and not getting involved in extracurricular activities.

Zachary Brygart Ellison

Pasadena

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Re "Student Drug Test Law Valid," June 28: Since drugs are "a serious national problem" and the populace has "legitimate concerns in preventing, deterring and detecting drug use," I propose that we implement regular (perhaps weekly) drug testing of Supreme Court justices.

They have nothing to hide, right? American citizens have the right to know that the court's decisions are not clouded by drug use.

Elaine Lindelef

Glendale

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The expectation of privacy for an adult is already gone. The Supreme Court has been eroding this right since the late 1980s. It began with random drug-testing of transportation workers and moved to industry as a whole in the 1990s and now teens must give up their rights to privacy too. Involuntarily relinquishing your bodily fluids the first time will be embarrassing and humiliating. It will become easier with subsequent tests. After all, we still need to get into good schools and we still need those paychecks.

It is much easier to manage and govern those who do not question authority. Perhaps if our esteemed justices had to urinate into a bottle, the ruling would have been different?

Lynn Lane

Long Beach

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