Long-time Turner Report readers know that I am strongly opposed to drug testing of students. Not only is it an invasion of privacy that goes against everything that the students should be learning about American freedoms in their government classes, but there are no statistics to show it works, and many reasons to believe that it does not.
Drug testing students is a feel good measure taken by well-meaning boards of education to try to do something about the drug problem in today's society. Since the law currently does not permit testing of all students, the testing is restricted to those who wish to participate in extracurricular activities. I have seen many instances in which these activities are the only things that keep a borderline student in school. Unfortunately, there are some who will avoid these activities because of the testing, and end up becoming involved in activities which, not only could cause them to drop out of school, but might also cause them to wind up in jail.
What I have found most troubling is how easily students roll over for these intrusions into their privacy. They use the same twisted logic that is used by those who want to give the government carte blanche to listen in on our telephone conversations and intercept our e-mails: "If they aren't doing anything wrong, they don't have any reason to worry." I am sure the same arguments were used by the Gestapo.
When these intrusions are allowed to take place in one area, it makes it that much easier for more liberties to be taken. Well-meaning elected officials can turn out to be the greatest enemies of the American way of life.
(For more information on drug testing of students, read this article from today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch.)