Alabama high school to begin administering blood tests to find cigarette smokersgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread
From the Libertarian Party website www.lp.org:
Why Americans should oppose mandatory high school "drug" tests for cigarettes
WASHINGTON, DC -- A decision by an Alabama high school to start doing "drug" tests on student athletes to detect cigarette smoking -- a policy other schools around the USA are expected to emulate soon -- shows that mandatory drug testing has gotten out of hand, the Libertarian Party says.
"Even if you think teenagers and cigarettes don't mix, subjecting students to mandatory blood tests to discourage smoking is a drastic overreaction to the problem," said the party's national director, Steve Dasbach.
"And given the poor performance of so many students, you can make the case that public schools should be scheduling more tests in math, English, and history -- and fewer tests for cigarette smoking."
This semester, Hoover High School in Hoover, Alabama announced it would begin a program of mandatory, random blood tests of the 1,500 students in grades 7 to 12 who participate in school athletic programs. Students can be tested for 11 illegal drugs and alcohol -- and also for nicotine from cigarettes and chewing tobacco.
Arguing that nicotine is a "mind-altering" substance, school officials said athletes who test positive will be subject to parental notification, mandatory tobacco education classes, and then suspension from athletic events.
Anti-tobacco advocates predicted the program would quickly spread to other government schools around the country.
Before it does, Americans should consider whether they really want to escalate the federal government's unsuccessful "War on Teenage Smoking" in this fashion, said Dasbach.
"So far, the only result of Washington, DC's decade-long crusade against teenage smoking has been more teenage smoking," he noted. "Between 1991 and 1997, smoking rates among high school students increased by almost one-third, from 27.5% to 36.4%.
"Teenage smoking rates have dipped slightly in the last year, but you can make the case that the more politicians huff and puff about the evils of smoking, the more they tempt rebellious teenagers to take up the habit. Why should this program be different?"
Mandatory nicotine testing also blurs the distinction between the dangers posed to teenagers by cigarettes versus the dangers from drugs and alcohol, said Dasbach.
"While no one argues that in a perfect world, teenagers wouldn't smoke, the idea that students should be drug-tested for a bad habit that might cause illness or premature death in 50 years is absurd," he said.
"More importantly, nicotine testing also deflects parents' attention away from the more immediate dangers posed to teenagers by alcohol and many illegal drugs. Surely, no sensible person thinks that teenagers who smoke and drive are as much at risk as teenagers who drink and drive."
Finally, mandatory blood tests for teenagers send a chilling message to young people that they can be tested "like laboratory animals" any time the government wants, said Dasbach.
"It would be nice if government schools taught students about the Fourth Amendment -- which guarantees the right to be free from unreasonable, warrantless searches -- instead of subjecting students to unreasonable, warrantless blood testing," he said. "After all, a government powerful enough to mandate blood tests for nicotine poses a greater danger to the long-term well-being of American teenagers than puffing on a cigarette ever will."
-- and you thought the "wiz quiz" was intrusive (@ .), October 10, 2000
This is unacceptable. Even more outrageous are intrusive physical searches of students to look for bombs and firearms.
-- (Dylan_K_@Columbine.HS), October 10, 2000.
Bill of Rights, WHAT Bill of Rights?
Sheeple of Amerika don't HAVE any "rights". Just ask any "authority" figure/agency.
If you think I'm being too harsh, look to the "New Nazi Republik of Britain" to see where all this is going.
-- no one here (-@-.-), October 10, 2000.
"It would be nice if government schools taught students about the Fourth Amendment -- which guarantees the right to be free from unreasonable, warrantless searches -- instead of subjecting students to unreasonable, warrantless blood testing,"
Drug testing also flies in the face of the 5th Amendment, which guarantees individuals the right not to incriminate themselves. If giving up bodily fluids for these tests aren't self-incrimination, then I sure don't know what is.
-- Buddy (email@example.com), October 10, 2000.
Excellent point, Buddy. And, PRECIOUS bodily fluids, I might add!!!
-- King of Spain (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 10, 2000.
"Alabama announced it would begin a program of mandatory, random blood tests of the 1,500 students in grades 7 to 12 who participate in school athletic programs"
What if the students just opted out of the athletic programs? Would the tests then be administered to the chess team,debate team or math club?
I wonder what the cost of such a program is?
Where/when I went to school the school board would have been told to "kiss our ass,field your own football team!"
-- capnfun (email@example.com), October 10, 2000.
As someone who knows the technology that is being applied, I see it differently. What does Karnak see? Some school districts paying out big bucks to settle law suits. Not because of constitutional law but because of technical problems. No more to be said. I might have to testify someday :^) Best wishes,,,,,
-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), October 10, 2000.
Spain, not all bodily fluids are precious.
-- (pissing@ya.CUM), October 10, 2000.
-- nuttin' honey (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 10, 2000.
Something just doesn't sound right in this scheme. Why testing for nicotine only? Why not pot or stereoids? What's the big deal about nicotine in highschoolers (don't they all smoke?) and in athletes?
Well, I says to myself, once you have permission to test bodily fluids for "innocent and legalized" nicotine, it's a much easier step from there to get permission to test for illegal drugs. Who's gonna stop "them" then?
Uh oh...I feel my hair shafts tingling...that's my cue that paranoia is starting to grab me.
-- (email@example.com), October 10, 2000.
another INVASION of civil rights--N.W.O comin down!!
-- not surprised/ (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 10, 2000.
The Supreme Court justices since Reagan have made some real bonehead decisions getting rid of personal freedoms. School students's rights have been especially gutted and filleted in the name of the war on drugs.
I see no reason why school administrators have a superior right to know which of their students are on which drugs that is superior to and overriding of the student's right to be secure from unreasonable searches or protected from self-incrimination. I see those last two rights specifically enumerated in the Constitution as protected, but I don't see any such right of school administrators written there.
At this point, we've got to start electing people to office who aren't afraid to repeal some of the ugliest laws enacted in the name of the war on drugs. No knock should be the first to go.
-- Brian McLaughlin (email@example.com), October 10, 2000.
S' far as I can tell, the King of Spain has learned how to stop worrying and love the bomb.
P.S. Do you like to cum-wrestle?
-- Miss (Ann@th.rope), October 12, 2000.