In the lead paragraph, reporter Steve Moyer mentions that a parent brought a study which shows that drug testing is not effective. Sounds like something a newspaper would want to sink its teeth into, but that was not the case:
One patron, Mike Freeze who had spoken beforehand to R-5 Superintendent David Stephens, Ph.D., presented a study he said showed that drug-testing students actually hurt the educational process. Stephens said he thought the study was not accurate and he didn't believe it. Freeze then stormed out of the meeting.
Considering that no one, to my knowledge, has produced a study that shows random drug testing of students is effective at curbing drug use, you might think Moyer would have tracked down this study and put information about it in his article. Unfortunately, for the Daily Mail readership, that was the last mention of the study...but not the last mention of the parent.
In the next paragraph, Moyer refers to the next parent who addressed the drug policy as "another unidentified father, who was much more civil." If he was that civil, then how much of a problem would it have been for Moyer to have asked him his name.
And while the story provides some useful information about how the testing will be done, it assumes the reader has prior knowledge of the district's testing policy. Nowhere in Moyer's article does it mention exactly what students will be tested. There is also no mention of the reasoning behind the testing.
With drug testing at schools happening more and more often, it is time for newspapers to stop being cheerleaders for the practice and start digging for more information. With the amount of money this testing costs the taxpayers, we need to make sure it actually works.
-The school district where I work, the Joplin School District, has a drug testing policy for students who participate in extracurricular activities. While I am opposed to drug testing, feel it may very well push students away from activities that could steer them clear of drugs, feel it is an invasion of privacy, and a waste of taxpayers' money, I have absolutely no doubt that the motivation of Joplin school officials and officials in other school districts is a sincere desire to stop drug use among students.
-I worked briefly for the Nevada Daily Mail in 1999 and the newspaper still owes me $144.