Too many times in this country we have seen elected officials forsake the very freedoms that make our country unique in order to solve the current social or political problem.
The movement toward student drug testing is one such instance. It started with testing students who participate in extracurricular activities, such as sports, band, and clubs. Since these activities were not rights guaranteed under a public education, but privileges, courts have ruled, the tests were permissible.
Now El Dorado, Kan. High School has gone a step further, according to Associated Press:
Random drug testing of student athletes has become as routine as study hall and lunch at many high schools across the country. But this factory town outside Wichita is taking testing to the extreme.
It is instituting random drug screening for all middle and high school students participating in _ or even just attending _ any extracurricular activity. That includes sports, clubs, field trips, driver's education, even school plays.
Those who don't sign consent forms cannot attend games, go to school dances, join a club or so much as park their car on school property.
Administrators insist the district does not have a drug problem, and say the new policy _ one of the toughest in the nation _ is aimed at keeping it that way.
Already signed up:
425 of 600 high schoolers
215 of 315 middle-schoolers
Perhaps the high percentage of those who so readily agree to having their rights violated indicates that our educational system is not doing a proper job of teaching students the importance of their freedoms.
Each time we sacrifice one freedom, it makes it that much easier to sacrifice the next.