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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mandatory drug tests: Pro or con

Posted Monday, August 20, 2007, at 10:40 AM

Drug testing for adults: Yes or no?

I received an e-mail from a reader suggesting, specifically, urine testing -- as Bedford County students involved in extracurricular activities already undergo. I've said before that students who aren't involved in activities should be the top priority for testing, since statistics prove they're more likely to do drugs.

Some feel adults who are applying for public assistance, especially housing or welfare, should be required to undergo drug tests as well. A federal law passed in 1996 specifically says it's legal.

But is that bias toward the poor?

So here's food for thought: Should those applying for any type of federal funding -- even home loans -- be tested? That would hit a much larger percentage of the population and wouldn't be targeting just the lower income.

I'd even include public officials whose names are on applications for federal city and county grants (and let's make it clear I'm in no way implying any official uses drugs).

Let's go one step further.

Based on seeing years worth of police records, I've found most drug arrests in Shelbyville stem from traffic stops. The officer senses something amiss and finds drugs in the vehicle, sometimes with assistance from a drug-sniffing dog but often simply by odor, sight, patdowns or the suspect's own actions.

So why not mandatory drug screens on all drivers stopped for anything more than speeding or very minor offenses? Of course, that would possibly cost the city and county more than fines could cover.

Even further: Consider drug tests as a condition of driver's license renewals, since driving is a privilege and not a right.

And that would cover nearly everyone, covering all income levels and no social status-based bias.

The only problems would be delays due to adding something to the current process of just mailing renewals, plus the fact many of those stopped for drugs are unlicensed.

But drug testing can go too far.

The well-meaning management of Bedford County Medical Center has Pink Ladies undergo urine tests.

Pink Ladies, whom many of you have already met, are for the most part ladies past retirement age. At least one's over 90. These volunteer workers welcome visitors near the entrance and do such activities as carry mail and magazines to patients. Hardly the profile of drug users.

But: If the Pink Ladies can be drug screened...


Comments
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I think mandatory drug testing is applicable in most any job... Most employers now have gone to doing this, in order to ensure they are hiring people who do not have substance abuse problems.

As for students, they should be checked randomly... Don't post signs saying: Drug test next Friday!!! Just pop in and randomly test and entire class, just like they used to do with the headlice issue...

People who are in for a license renewal should definitely be screened for any drugs that could be in their system. I think saving lives far outways the cost of tragedy that can be prevented using pre-screening methods.

Of course people will argue that their freedoms have been taken away? But I don't remember anyone having the freedom to snort crack, inhale meth, and pop pills as long as they don't get caught. I think you and I would be shocked to find out just how many unsespecting people would be turned down for jobs, licenses, admittance into school, etc.... Drug use is more prevelant and easily hidden these days. It is time to go above and beyond to stop it at all means...

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 10:57 AM

It would be illegal to randomly test from among the entire student body, without prior cause. Since you're requiring students to attend school in the first place, it gets into issues like the Fifth Amendment protection against incriminating yourself.

You can legally make drug testing a condition of extracurricular activities (if you don't agree to random drug tests, you don't get to try out for the team), since those activities are a privilege and not a right. That's why the testing only applies to those students -- even though, as David points out, the students who aren't busy with extracurricular stuff are probably more likely to be drug users.

In order to begin randomly testing all students, you'd either have to amend the Constitution or change the judiciary so dramatically that they would overturn precedent and change the way they intepret the Constitution, neither of which is likely to happen in the near future.

-- Posted by Jicarney on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 11:13 AM

LOL, well they should have thrown that into the Patriot Act, because it most definitely amends the entire Constitution and oversteps the judicial system.

And it was passed not so long ago by Congressmen and woman who didn't even flip a single page.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 11:19 AM

Don't you think Drug Testing for extracurricular activities started because they were looking for steroid users? You would be amazed at the amount of young adults taking steroids.

But now every extracurricular activity must sign a release to be random tested for drugs even the cheerleaders. But as a whole most of them don't mind.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 11:35 AM

Here is the problem with drug tests (urine), I don't know about you but I have heard numerous times that people just use "clean" urine. I have even been asked for some of my own. Firstly, if you are EVER found with drugs or alcohol in your system while you are operating a weapon such as a car, you should never have a driver's license again and that is just it. Drug testing everyone who applies for a driver's license is a pretty good idea. For that matter I think drug testing an entire class at random is a good idea, it's never going to happen though.

Here is a new one, let's say that you are addicted to drugs of any kind and you find out that you are pregnant. You can tell the state and they prescribe you methadone. Then that baby is NOT taken away from you, even though you are a crack head, you get to take that baby home with you and give that baby methadone. Where is the justice here? Why doesn't the state take those babies away? A foster home (worst case scenario) is better than a crack house!

-- Posted by sambntn on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 11:51 AM

I think that if the government would push for a more stricter and affective way to eliminate all illegal and legal harmful drugs, then that would solve the problem. People wouldn't have to gripe about their freedom being taken from them, children at school wouldn't have to get clean urine to pass tests, and the drug testing itself wouldn't be around any longer. If there was just a way to remove all of the harmful drugs from the united states...but then again, that's like asking for world peace.

-- Posted by weezie84 on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 12:02 PM

Yes... It's funny how we would fix the problem with illegal drugs, if the government would put more restrictions on them....

But back in May you were "too high" ... LMAO!

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 2:11 PM

I think that if the government would push for a more stricter and affective way to eliminate all illegal and legal HARMFUL drugs, then that would solve the problem. People wouldn't have to gripe about their freedom being taken from them, children at school wouldn't have to get clean urine to pass tests, and the drug testing itself wouldn't be around any longer. If there was just a way to remove all of the HARMFUL drugs from the united states...but then again, that's like asking for world peace.

-- Posted by weezie84 on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 2:57 PM

Copy and paste didn't work right? LOL

-- Posted by Dianatn on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 3:01 PM

I don't do or take any drugs while I am pregnant, and since you want to get technical about it, the painkillers they give pregnant women while in labor has been known to have harmful effects on the baby, an example?-the baby comes out blue. I get what you are trying to say, and yes, I agree that doing drugs while anyone is pregnant isn't safe, but doing harful drugs while not pregnant, to any other human, isn't safe either.

-- Posted by weezie84 on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 3:31 PM

It really isn't necessary or mature of any of you (the five know to whom I speak to) to continue posting irrevalent comments under every single one of my comments, just to try and start an argument with me.

I've posted many other comments under many different blogs, so why haven't any of you bothered to comment under them?

-- Posted by weezie84 on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 3:37 PM

I've never heard of painkillers causing a blue baby the only drug I have ever heard of having anything to do with blue babies is Meth. Blue babies are usually caused from some type of heart defect.

Sometimes babies are born blue due to the fact they are stuck in the birth canal to long and they are not getting enough oxygen but this usually clears up soon after the baby is born and begins breathing on it's own.

Here's a link on Blue Babies if you'd like to read it.

http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/b/blue_bab...

-- Posted by Dianatn on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 3:54 PM

ANAGLESIA - demerol, stadol, nisentil, nubain - affects the perception of pain. Some women experience relief, some women hallucinate. All of these drugs cross the placenta and can affect the baby. Narcotics such as these can lead to what nurses call "blue baby syndrome". Lower APGAR scores can affect the care required by the baby, and thus may mean separation from mother to monitor its breathing, etc. These drugs can also affect the baby's desire and ability to breastfeed. A sleepy baby combined with fluid-overload engorgement is a serious threat to breastfeeding. If the sleepy baby gets jaundiced, then the pediatrician may order supplements, etc. And we all know what supplementation can do to the mother's confidence and her milk supply.

http://pregnancy.about.com/cs/breastfeed...

-- Posted by weezie84 on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 3:58 PM

Ok, wow. I will say that if I had not had pain meds (just the epi) I would have only had one child, as compared to three. My oldest is seven and she would absolutely be an only child if I had had to experience just one more contraction. I didn't have any stadol, though it was offered. However, we were talking about illegal drugs.

-- Posted by sambntn on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 4:10 PM

Hmmm that link is about Breatfeeding nothing about Blue Babies. There is a difference between jaundice and blue babies.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 4:14 PM

I think she is trying to point that drugs during labor can lead to lethargic babies. Most lethargic babies are that way because they have drugs in their systems and/or not enough oxygen. Lethargy makes babies (who aren't used to breathing on their own anyway)not want to breathe. Lazy babies don't want to put effort into breast feeding.

-- Posted by sambntn on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 4:19 PM

Narcotics such as these can lead to what nurses call "blue baby syndrome".

Okay you said that you had never heard of any of the pain killers that could cause a baby to be blue. It doesn't matter where the article is from, there's the proof stating that it's possible to have a blue baby due to pain meds during labor. And yes, we were talking about illegal drugs, and there are still legal drugs that are harmful, if not more harmful than some of the illegal ones. I for one, am not having an epidural or pain meds at the time of my labor.

-- Posted by weezie84 on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 4:20 PM

Ok, I think everyone is getting away from the topic of if people should be drug tested or not. I agree totally that students should be tested randomly. It shouldn't matter if you are involved in anything extra. I think if more drug test were given in schools and actions taken sooner you wouldn't have as many drop outs. You would have higher graduating classes and higher test scores.

I also believe that anyone who is on public assistance should have to be randomly tested. We the tax payers should have a right to have that done. I don't mind helping anyone but only if they really do deserve it and are really trying to better themselves. Why should we better them if they can't better themselves.

I also believe that employers have that right too. If they want to pop a drug test at any time they should have that right. I work for a company that does this and I don't have any problem with that at all.

Everyone keeps talking about rights!!! Well if people went back to the old ways they would see how everything has gotten so twisted! People think that we are making things better as time goes on with our new laws and stuff but really we are making things worse. We have more problems in the world now than we ever have!

-- Posted by zmd22 on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 4:40 PM

darrick said:

"As for students, they should be checked randomly... Don't post signs saying: Drug test next Friday!!! Just pop in and randomly test and entire class, just like they used to do with the headlice issue... "

I agree whole heartedly with this but it also reminds me of drug checks they use to do in school: The Principal would announce it over the intercom saying the lockers were going to be checked for everybody to get their personal belongings out of their lockers and report to the football field. I always thought that was the stupidest thing I have ever heard of..no wonder they never found anything..lol

-- Posted by Dianatn on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 4:49 PM

If you want to test all the kids, run this by the school system and see how it would be received:

Test all the teachers and administrators first. THEN test all the kids.

I wonder how that would change the debate. Quite a bit, I imagine.

-- Posted by Brian Mosely on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 5:23 PM

That goes back to exactly what I was saying about most all employers should require mandatory drug screening...

If they can screen teachers and other educators for criminal background checks, why not administer a simple, cheap drug test...

And I think kid's over the age of 13 should be randomly tested, that is where most habits begin and where most habits can also be stopped...

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 6:05 PM

I was just surfing a bit on random drug testing for students in Tennessee and found this which is from an article in July 2007.

NASHVILLE -- Many public schools will stop drug testing athletes this school year after an opinion from the state attorney general's office said it violates state law.

But a few schools plan to continue testing because school officials said it deters children from drug use.

"We feel it gives kids another reason to say no -- they can't do drugs because they may be tested," Gallatin athletic director Steve Duke said. "To us, that's reason enough to continue."

Tennessee students have been tested for drugs since 1986, but Attorney General Robert E. Cooper Jr. said in an opinion issued this month that random drug testing of students participating in extracurricular activities violates a state law that requires reasonable suspicion of drug use before testing a student.

About 75 to 100 public schools across the state that are members of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association test for drugs, said executive director Ronnie Carter. Some only test for street drugs, while others can find evidence of steroid use.

Hedy Weinberg, the executive director for the Tennessee chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the organization opposes random drug testing in public schools.

"It violates the state constitution and it's bad public policy," Weinberg said. "Drug testing is not effective in deterring drug use among young people. It violates privacy rights of young people and it drives students away from extracurricular activities like sports and other clubs that are a proven means of allowing kids to stay away from trouble with drugs."

Two separate U.S. Supreme Court rulings were in favor of the drug testing of athletes, but Tennessee's privacy law is stricter than federal law.

Mulroy said if a school felt strongly, it should continue testing and wait for someone to be sued, although it could potentially end up costing a school.

"If someone did sue, the nature of liability (if they won) would have to be determined," Mulroy said. "There could be some sort of money damages. I'm not sure how offensive it would be. They may have to pay the other attorneys fees, and there would be an injunction to cease testing."

(But yet Bedford County Schools did send out a release for random drug testing for athletes This year)

-- Posted by Dianatn on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 6:55 PM

I totally agree! There should be more testing in the school system! Most people are oblivious to what goes on behind the doors of the schools....you'd be surprised! From my own experiences in school, I knew of several drug users who weren't involved in extracurricular activities at all. I'm not saying that those who were in those activities didn't do it as well. We did have random drug searches....and EVERY time something was found. Kids need structure in their lives......and they also need an example to follow. That's why I think teachers and administrators should be tested first as well. If the kids are supposed to do right....then they NEED that example.

*That's crazy....do the Pink Ladies REALLY have to be screened????? What's this world coming to when they'll screen little old ladies....but, they won't screen teens in schools....who are at the most vulnerable stage in their lives!!!!! That's just nuts!

Oh yeah.....for once I thought there might be a blog without all that "Junior High Drama" added.....BUT....I guess I was wrong!

-- Posted by Krysi on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 7:05 PM

I am reminded of the quote "those who would trade security for liberty deserve neither security or liberty". I have a problem with random testing without cause even in the face court rulings, I can't see how it is not a violation of the search and seizure clause of the constitution. If random testing is done it should be done universally and single out a particular group or activity. Employer testing is different since an individual has the choice of accepting employment based on the comditions set down by the employer. School children have no choice, they are compelled by law to attend.

-- Posted by Tim Baker on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 7:10 PM

I agree revolution but that's not going to happen and we both know it..that would be considered profiling against the poor.

And Lord help us if they made it mandatory to drug test lawyers and judges. Would we have any left? LOL

-- Posted by Dianatn on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 8:24 PM

I work near a "staffing solution" place and they drug test. I cannot tell you how many rubbers i have swept up where these folks have had someone else urinate in them and they tape these things to their legs so they can pass the test.

Pleeease.

Deat beats will find a way around anything, and yes i think people on welfare and any other "assistance" ought to take drug tests.. if my tax dollars are paying for them to sit on thier rears at home while i work, then yep.. they need to be clean or be in jail to work on the road side clean up.

any how... i think very differantly.. i think capital punishment and public executions are the way to go also..but any how.

-- Posted by 4fabfelines on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 8:38 PM

What happened to the Bill of Rights in this country? It's a shame that people are willing to give away their rights so easily. Sure you may have nothing to hide, but where does it end? Next the government will want to know your sexual orientation when applying for assistance or maybe they will disqualify applicants for medicaid because they are overweight and have made a lifestyle choice to eat too much. The war on drugs is a joke. How is it that the United States overthrows the Taliban in Afghanistan, yet opium production is at an all time high producing 98% of the world's opium? This is no coincidence! Drug testing school children! What are we coming to? I refuse to welcome the police state that we are slowly becoming with open arms.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 10:53 PM

There was a young man killed in this town about 4 years ago. Alot of people know now and knew then the most likely cause of his demise. I knew him personally and will tell you that he started selling weed in high school. He kept it in his locker and it was a common known fact. After school, he moved up, so to speak, to cocaine, crack, meth and all such as that. He did not come from a family of "stoners". There were no outward signs that said he was a drug user or distributor. We knew, it was common knowledge. IF he had been drug tested, IF they had caught him early on, IF they had sent him away to a kiddy penitentiary for a few months. MAYBE he would have realized that a good looking, nice young man that like himself has it made in this country and he could have been anything he wanted to. MAYBE there wouldn't have been a quadruple homicide 4 years ago.

just my peace.

-- Posted by sambntn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 7:41 AM

yup.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 8:30 AM

RIGHT ON NATHAN!

-- Posted by HorseGentler on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 9:09 AM

It's not about giving up rights, it's about WHAT IS RIGHT!!!! If doing drugs were ok, there wouldn't be any laws against it in the first place. I don't think anything should have to be signed in schools to be given a drug test. You don't need to know when it's going to happen or where. It shouldn't be just for the kids who do extra stuff like sports and clubs. It should be for the entire school body. It should also be for the teachers and the staff.

When I was in school we didn't have a choice. I played sports and I had to be tested and the only piece of paper I signed stated if I was on any medications at the time and that if I failed I was off the team NO QUESTIONS ASKED! It wasn't do you agree to this test. If you didn't take the test, well sorry about your luck, you weren't playing.

There was a huge fire in wheel last night and several firefighters were called out to it. One being my boyfriend who volunteers his time!!! The fire was started by a guy running from the Drug Task Force. He left his girlfriend and child in the car, and ran from the police. All the more reason people need to be tested more often. So what if you feel it's against his rights for him to be tested by an employer. What happened to the rights of the guy who lost over 50 acres or the man who's home was 20 feet from flames. What about the rights of ALL the firemen who were out there fighting that fire. In there fire gear on days like yesterday it's close to 200 degrees. What about there rights.

-- Posted by zmd22 on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 9:45 AM

sambntn said:He kept it in his locker and it was a common known fact. We knew, it was common knowledge.

If you knew this guy was a drug dealer and you felt concern then should you not have reported him for his own good? Your argument is flawed in that you would rather blame others for your inaction. The rest of us should not have to suffer the consequences because of his and your actions.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 9:47 AM

Many of you are missing my point. I am in agreement that drugs are a problem in this country, but giving in to government inspections of any sort is a slippery slope. Many are blinded by the way things are and forget about the way things were or could be in the future. You think that this country could never be dominated by one political party. Revolutions supported by the people with good intentions can spiral out of control over the course of a decade into dictatorships that prey on the peoples emotions to gain power. They inact laws that seem good at the time with much public support, but eventually destroy the number one idea that makes America great, freedom.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 10:01 AM

I understand your point and I agree with your statement about us not doing anything! We have to stand up and do something. We can't just single out individual rights though. We have to look at what's best for a school, a family, a community, a state etc. Say they drug test a child randomly in school. He test positive. That's when we look to the parents. That child maybe getting the drugs from the parents and someone needs to step in and help. It's not about taking there rights away it's about helping that child realize there is a better world out there!

-- Posted by zmd22 on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 10:11 AM

Because then I was young and dumb. I am no longer ignorant! Thank you for pointing that out.

-- Posted by sambntn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 10:24 AM

It seems these days America's are too willing to give up their rights, tossing away with both hands what our forefathers have fought for us to have.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 10:28 AM

How is it that you would be suffering? Just out of curiosity. I realize that a ton of young people (and even old) are doing drugs everyday. I knew it then and I know it now. Just as the rest of you do. If random drug tests in schools aren't the solution (which I fully admit they may not be) then what? Name another way to keep our kids safe.

-- Posted by sambntn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 10:28 AM

Is it the responsibility of a peer to tell on him, or of the administration to make him prove himself?

-- Posted by sambntn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 10:30 AM

It is your responsibility as a parent to keep your child safe not the governments. Making laws that take your rights away does not protect your child. It only gives the government a free hand to take more of our freedom and rights away.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 10:33 AM

Some parents are responsible enough to take care of their children. Why do you think we have social services! HELLO!!! We have kids having kids! I saw a 14 year old girl the other day who's less than a month away from giving birth. Sometimes the government has to step in for the sake of the children! I'm sure our forefather's didn't have the youth of today. Our forefather's faught for our freedom! Our freedom wasn't meant to be abused though! That's why our forefathers also gave us laws!

-- Posted by zmd22 on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 10:43 AM

It is the responsibility of the parent to keep their child off of drugs, or to make sure they are doing their homework, or to make sure they are wearing their seatbelt. If my child does drugs then I have failed them in some way, not the "administration". If your child is hanging out with someone that you suspect is on drugs then don't let them hang out together and enact strict penalties if they defy you. It takes a village to raise a child and if someone in your village is not up to your standards then you should change that. Keep your own house in order and stop worrying about what little Timmy is doing six miles away. You have the power.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 10:54 AM

Don't get all bent out of shape here..I agree drugs are a problem they always have been and will continue to be a problem. When parents stop teaching their children that drugs are wrong and are bad this is were the problem begins. I just feel there are ways to handle the problem without invading everyone's rights.

Parents need to be the responsible party not the schools or the government. I hate it when a child is convicted of drugs and the parent has the nerve to say "I didn't know he was on drugs" That tells me that parent pays no more attention to the child than they do the family dog. How could you possibly live in the same house as your child and not know they were doing drugs.

You can't put all he blame on today's youth..it took parents to raise them. But today many parents are more concerned with their social life than they are what their children are doing. But that doesn't give the government the right to intervene.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 10:59 AM

Parents do have a responsibility to make sure their own children aren't doing drugs and are staying on track and doing what they should be doing. The problem is that not all parents are like that and that's where the government should be stepping in at.

-- Posted by zmd22 on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 11:04 AM

But you see that's exactly what I am saying..as long as you tell YOUR child to say "NO" not only to drugs but to unprotected sex then you are protecting "YOUR" child and that's all you need to be concerned with. You Can not save the world, making laws to drug test the student body is not going to rid the world of drugs heck it won't even rid Shelbyville of drugs. It may perhaps and I use the word perhaps loosely..stop drugs inside the school but you can't lock your child in the closet until he becomes an adult they will have to be with the outside world and know how to use the word "NO"

-- Posted by Dianatn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 11:11 AM

If a government can't step in to save a child, then why do we even have a government? We elect our government!!! If we don't like the way it's run, then we shouldn't elect who we do. Parents need to step up and take more responsibility of their children but some just won't. Most of those parents were raised the same way though and unless someone, can step in and help the cycle will continue. We blame the government and we say someone should do something. The government shouldn't be allowed to step in. Well, if we don't want the government stepping in, then we need to take on more responsibility ourselves. ME INCLUDED! I feel the gavernment has every right to step in and help out. Drugs are illegal at any age and if you are found doing them you should be punished. Nobody is going to come right out to a police officer and say hey I'm a drug dealer. Arrest me! It's the governments job to find those and punish them. Just like a child in school. They aren't going to say hey I'm doing drugs punish me. Most everyone tries to avoid punishment!

-- Posted by zmd22 on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 11:19 AM

Parents do have a responsibility to make sure their own children aren't doing drugs and are staying on track and doing what they should be doing. The problem is that not all parents are like that and that's where the government should be stepping in at.

-- Posted by zmd22 on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 11:04 AM

There are a few ways that the government should be involved in my opinion:

If a child refuses to perform in school or continues to break the law then the government should remove that child from school so that he/she no longer proves to be a disruption to the children that do want to learn. The parents would be removed from government assistance (if they receive it) or they would be forced to pay a fine to the court (if they do not) at the time of expulsion. Expulsions could last for one month for the first offense, three months for the second offense, and one full year for the third offense. If the child is found guilty of a crime during their expulsion period then they would automatically move up to the next expulsion charge. With penalties so strict it would be in the best interest of the parent to take notice of what their children are doing at school and out.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 11:34 AM

More government is not the answer zmd22. Government is needed for many reasons, raising children is not one of them.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 11:45 AM

I can tell you how my parents kept me from ever touching drugs.....they said "look at this person, that is what drugs do". Followed that with and not to mention if you are underage we will voluteer you for rehab and if you are 18 or older your little butt will just stay in jail and don't expect help from Momma and Daddy ever again. That was enough for me, but for some kids it's not. Some kids NEED to do, NEED to spend some time in juvenile dentention and NEED to learn the hard way.

-- Posted by sambntn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 11:54 AM

Thank you Revolution, very well stated.

-- Posted by sambntn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 11:58 AM

Since so many of you think we need our government to keep us safe, then let's not stop at drug testing.

When they test for drugs let's also test fot HIV, TB, Hepatitus and all communicable diseases. After all indivdual rights should take a back seat to what our government feels needs to be done to keep us safe.

Before anyone pees down their leg at my comments please realise I am being sarcastic here, but hopefully my point is not missed.

William

-- Posted by HorseGentler on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 11:59 AM

Hey test for all that too! Honestly! You will need to know if you have it and it will keep our students just a little safer (in the way of sex) to have a constant reminder!

-- Posted by sambntn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 12:02 PM

Revolution, absolutely you should and would want to know.

You NEVER have the right to be on drugs, they are illegal. It is illegal to use prescription drugs in the wrong way. Just as you don't have the right to drive drunk you don't have the right to be a dope head.

-- Posted by sambntn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 12:11 PM

not always apparently :)

-- Posted by sambntn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 12:11 PM

I think the government should issue stricter laws with alcohol instead of trying to lower the drinking age to 18.

-- Posted by weezie84 on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 12:14 PM

Revolution you should really think before you post comments. You continue to drive home points that show everyone just how much wisdom you lack.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 12:14 PM

I second that Weezie.

-- Posted by sambntn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 12:14 PM

I base my opinion of you Revolution from reading all of your posts collectively on this site, not just the few posts you have made on this topic.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 12:22 PM

I still don't believe that drug-testing every student at the schools or even those who apply for government assistance would solve the drug problems. Yes, it would solve a large portion of it, but the ones who truely are strung out on these harsh, harmful drugs (coke, crack, ex, heroine, meth) don't have jobs, they don't have a means of transportation, they aren't involved in school and most of the time don't have kids in school and don't have a place they can call their "home", so how would the government put a stop to people like this?

-- Posted by weezie84 on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 12:26 PM

Weezie, you're right maybe some are "unreachable". My thinking is that is we never let them get too far gone. We can catch them before the problem becomes too bad, we can give them a reason NOT to do it.

-- Posted by sambntn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 12:31 PM

Perhaps I have been a little hard on you Revolution. Let me say this in response to the comments that you have posted.

Point 1: People have been breaking laws from the time laws have existed and will continue to do so.

Point 2: Regardless if you can watch your child at all times, you can affect the decision that he/she makes by giving them a reason to choose wisely. The love and trust of a parent should be far more powerful than the urge to disobey.

Point 3: Parents that smoke weed with their children are breaking more than one law and will be dealt with eventually. It is their decision to raise their child that way though and you or the government cannot change that, at least not with the penalties currently in place.

Point 4: The constitution was written more than two hundred years ago, but it is a living document, amended as needed decided by the people.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 12:35 PM

Hey and you want to fund these new tests in school. shoot up the cigarette prices.....I mean WAY up. That needs to stop too.

-- Posted by sambntn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 12:36 PM

Okay, I see the logic in that sambntn, and revolution, I admire your last comment...it sounds like we have finally agreed upon something even as simple as posting our own opinions. It sounded alot like another comment I've posted somewhere on this site.

There's nothing we can do to help the ones who are so helpless, that they won't even help themselves, but I'm sure there are things that we could do to help others who haven't gotten too far into these drugs.

I applied for Families First Assistance today, and was very surprised at how much the process itself, has changed. Did you know that in order to recieve the cash supplement you are required to work a 30 hour work week, and they will help you find a job as well as help you get enrolled into school? They also provide assistance to those who have kids and need child care assistance.

-- Posted by weezie84 on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 12:37 PM

Heck cigarettes should be outlawed also. It's a known killer.

William

-- Posted by HorseGentler on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 12:38 PM

Oh, sambntn, did you know that as of October 1st, there will be no indoor smoking anywhere in the state of Tennessee? And if I remember correctly, alot of the businesses won't allow people to smoke within a certain range of feet within the building. Yes, if the government could only put a complete stop to alcohol and cigarettes, then the world and people would be cleaner and healthier.

-- Posted by weezie84 on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 12:39 PM

I read these blogs daily but I don't comment too much. But I agree with drug testing for school sports. It goes back to the pack mentality on this one. yes you should know what your kids are doing but you can't always be there, if one of their friends are doing drugs and then sometimes kids feel the need to join in and be one of the "guys" it's a scary world and if we just saved one chiild that was headed down the wrong path then that is great.

I find myself agreeing with Revolution and sambntn...at all costs neccessary.

-- Posted by James48 on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 12:42 PM

It's about durn time, I am tired of breathing in second hand smoke because the jerk at the next table feels it necessary to kill himself. Back to illegal drugs, there is no real way to completely stop them. I have family members who have been smoking pot for 30 years or better, they defend themselves with "it's just marijuana, it's not cocaine or anything". It's just as illegal and just as wrong. It wouldn't hurt for our government to try and come up with a way to make a difference. It's great to write a ticket for a seat belt not being buckled and it's even better that they blasted those commercials about it all over the television. How about a nation wide zero tolerence policy for drug and alcohol offenders?

-- Posted by sambntn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 12:46 PM

Drug testing student athletes that choose to participate, no problem. Drug testing the entire student body, illegal search and seizure.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 12:50 PM

Cigarettes should be outlawed but that will never happen..do you know why? Look at all the taxes collected from people smoking..also look at all the lost jobs if cigarettes became illegal. From the tobacco growers all the way down to the sales clerks that sell them would lose their jobs. What do you think that would do to the economy. No politician wants to be responsible for the loss of so much income from taxes and job loss.

The government don't want you to stop buying Cigarettes they just want you to stop smoking them...and how stupid is that!

-- Posted by Dianatn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 12:50 PM

good point, dianatn, maybe that's why they won't outlaw alcohol...although there are some dry counties here and there.

-- Posted by weezie84 on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 12:52 PM

They did outlaw alcohol... it didn't work.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 12:54 PM

how is it that "home of jack daniels" in Lynchburg, Tn makes Jack Daniels however, it is a dry county? how much sense does that make? just wanted to throw that in there, because I dont understand it. I believe that if we just do away with all alcohol and all cigarettes, there will be ALOT more lives saved.

-- Posted by weezie84 on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 12:57 PM

Revolution, do you really think that if the government tested for those diseases that we would be safer? If they can't even get a border guard to follow some simple instructions concerning the gentleman with TB that entered the US from Canada, then how would they handle these people that tested positive for the mentioned diseases?

Regardless of what they would do if such a thing happened, it saddens me to see so many people that at least seem to be willing to give up rights, that many of us and our ancestors fought for. And for what? Because parents and some individuals cannot follow laws.

I have not seen this point brought up in this blog, perhaps I missed it, but am I the only one that KNOWS there are ways to beat these tests and the drugs that are considered to be hard drugs (meth, pills, cocaine) do not stay in one's system for long, even if they don't try to flush out their urine. From what I have heard in the past, but have done no new goggle search to read up, hair tests are unreliable and there are also ways to beat those.

So what do we hope to accomplish by drug testing? Catch a few pot smokers that have the misfortune that their drug of choice stays in the system longer than anything else? Cause someone that is clean to be punished by false positives? Cause someone that feels that it is an invasion of their privacy, even if they have nothing to hide, to feel that they should just shut up and take the test?

It's just not woth it to me. Take these rights today and what will they want to take tommorow?

Off my soapbox.

William

-- Posted by HorseGentler on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 12:59 PM

Revolution

It is your right to believe anything you wish as I have said many many times on here. But yet I am surprised by your opinions of this subject on why you are so willing to give government this right to interfere with your personal rights and freedoms yet you are so against it in other areas.

I usually agree with most things with you but I just can not see how allowing the government to interfere with my home life (as in raising my children) to be any benefit on the War Against Drugs. Next thing they'll be telling you is what your children should watch on TV.

I never tried to hide any of the ugliness of life from my children because I know someday they would be adults and have to deal with real life and I wanted them to know all the facts before they were old enough to make decisions on their own. Keeping drugs away from them in the schools will not keep drugs from them in the outside world. We as parents have to do the best we can to instill in our children to do the right thing but in the end it will be their decision whether they actually say NO to drugs.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 1:09 PM

I have not seen this point brought up in this blog, perhaps I missed it, but am I the only one that KNOWS there are ways to beat these tests and the drugs that are considered to be hard drugs (meth, pills, cocaine) do not stay in one's system for long, even if they don't try to flush out their urine. From what I have heard in the past, but have done no new goggle search to read up, hair tests are unreliable and there are also ways to beat those.(horsegentler)

I couldn't agree with you more on this statement. There are, nowadays, anything from a single pill you chase with a gallon of water, to a set of 4 pills, to clean urine in a condom, even shampoo for the hair folicle tests..there are plenty of ways for people to beat the drug testing. I believe that pot is the only drug that if one consumes it on a daily basis, has the potential of staying in your bloodstream for up to a month. Pills, cocaine, (this includes Exstacy) and meth are rid of your system within 3 days.

-- Posted by weezie84 on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 1:10 PM

You think I would support the Patriot Act? The Patriot Act is exactly the type of law I am speaking of! They give it a name so that when I speak poorly of it I sound like a traitor. Lurking underneath though is a law full of liberty stealing paranoia. Of course there will always be emergencies that call for laws like the Patriot Act. The problem was not the laws in place before 9/11. The intel was there for the FBI and others to act on. Had they connected the dots or had the Immigration Service acted on the expired student VISAs they were carrying then it could have been stopped. The Patriot Act proves my point that more laws are not the answer.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 1:15 PM

you know, Pen and Teller makes alot of good points on many of these subjects, I recommend the show to all.

-- Posted by weezie84 on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 1:17 PM

Oh and on the subject of our wonderful President and his Patriot Act. I most definitely do not agree with the Patriot Act (that's just another example of how far the government thinks it can push you) Even though I have Nothing to hide from them either it is an invasion of my privacy. Just as drug testing without cause is...and I didn't vote for our wonderful President either time he ran..

Just as the bumper stickers say "Don't blame me I voted for the other guy"

-- Posted by Dianatn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 1:20 PM

Dianatn and sambntn I agree with a lot both of you have said. Kids now are becoming more and more smart about hiding things like drugs. I was always told what would happen to me if I did drugs and I never had the need to try or do them. It's sad to say though, some kids aren't brought up like I was. Some kids need the government. It's sad that it's come down to this but it has and I firmly believe that if you have nothing to hide why would you object to the testing. It's not taking away rights it's helping make a brighter future for everyone!

-- Posted by zmd22 on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 1:28 PM

Revolution, I would take the tests and have taken many (never failed one I might add and I used my own unadulterated urine), but I still feel as my rights have been violated. However since I am not rich, well connected, a government official or one of many that do not have to put up with this BS, because someone decided that no one in one of those mentioned positions would ever use drugs and it just wouldn't be right to test such a fine upstanding person, besides those people have rights still.

William

-- Posted by HorseGentler on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 1:35 PM

You made the CHOICE to apply there..it is not a law that you work there. It is a law that children attend school.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 1:36 PM

You can go and apply for a job like that if you want to. If I wanted to work there then I would take a drug test also. They are within the law. But the day a government official shows up at my house requesting a urine sample will be the day I begin looking for a new country to live in.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 1:39 PM

True Diana, however I do not support drug testing for anyone except for those that have been convicted of a drug crime and are on probation. When they were convicted they gave up that right.

I have done nothing wrong I just want to work, but I have to give up a right to be able to do this. I remember very well when this all started with drug testing. It was during the Reagan era. Len Bias dies froma cocaine overdose and it just spiraled down from there. Our country is no better off today. We lost rights, but we still have drugs everywhere. Time to try something else!

William

-- Posted by HorseGentler on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 1:46 PM

I'll second that HorseGentler.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 1:48 PM

HorseGentler You are correct They should not be allowed to drug test you in order for you to get a job but they are within their rights and within the law (another example of how the law seems to get into your personal life)

All I was saying is You know these companies require drug testing when you apply and you make the choice to work there anyway..If I wanted to work there I would take the test..it would be my choice. Children don't have a choice they must attend school and picking out certain groups such as athletes to be drug tested is no different than picking out people just because they are gay and forcing them to be HIV tested.. it is Discrimination either way you look at it.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 2:01 PM

Diana; I got your point and I agree.

William

-- Posted by HorseGentler on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 2:37 PM

Revolution wrote: The drug testing isn't a law but a rule set forth by a governing body and you have the choice to do it or not.

That statement probably wouldn't bother someone that does not have to work. Just try to get a decent paying job without peeing in the cup. I'm too used to eating regular and sleeping indoors, so I pee in the cup and hope that someday those that make these rules will realize that the labs testing these samples are the only winners...oh wait I forgot those that are dirty and pass their test are winners too. The main losers are those folks that don't use drugs, but must be give up a right to be gainfully employed at a job requiring drug testing.

William

-- Posted by HorseGentler on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 3:24 PM

why weren't we ever allowed to chew gum in school?

-- Posted by weezie84 on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 3:25 PM

YOU NEVER HAVE THE RIGHT TO USE DRUGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is impossible to take away the right to do something ILLEGAL!

-- Posted by sambntn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 3:26 PM

You DO NOT have the right to drive drunk, you DO NOT have the right to produce meth, you DO NOT have the right to at any point in time smoke marijuana. YOU JUST DON'T! It is illegal, it is illegal for a reaon. Schools keep a record on our children. They KNOW if "timmy" has ever been arrested and what for and when and how he acted at the police station. Why? Because they need to know what to expect out of Timmy! "Timmy" has no right to partake in ANYTHING illegal just as you and I do not have the right to break the law. Regardless if "timmy" is in band or on the football team or just a member of a high school. He has NO right to do anything illegal. Smoking, snorting and shooting dope of any kind is ILLEGAL. NO ONE HAS ANY RIGHT TO BREAK THE LAW!

-- Posted by sambntn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 3:33 PM

And so what, yes they have ways to beat the system, so you just give up? NO. You keep plugging away and fixing this hole and that hole. Eventually they will run out of holes. You don't just stop because they have a way around certain stuff. I know that meth and crack and stuff like that only stays in your system for days as compared to weeks. Newsflash, if you use meth you probably are using it ALL THE TIME. Most likely there won't be a three day break.

-- Posted by sambntn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 3:48 PM

Sam:Please forgive me if I missed something, but I don't see any posts saying that anyone has a right to do anything illegal.

On the other hand if I haven't done anything wrong, then why must I prove my innocence or in this case that I can either use my own and be clean, use drugs,use clean and still be clean or if I'm a drug dealer I don't need no stinkin job, so I fail the test and it allows me more time to do what really makes me money without that pesky work day getting in the way.

As I stated earlier. This country is no better off today than 20+ years ago, when drug testing became popular. If anything we have more drugs or maybe the dealers are just getting bolder and more open, because if I wanted to get high I have no doubt I could find whatever I wanted right here in Shelbyville,TN. and no amount of drug testing is going to change that.

People taking responsibility for their actions and parents doing their part of raising their kids, instead of letting them learn everything from the electronic babysitter (TV)are the only ways this country will ever rid itself of it's drug problem.

William

-- Posted by HorseGentler on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 3:50 PM

How can a drug test be a violation of your rights? You don't have the right or even the privilege to do them?

-- Posted by sambntn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 3:54 PM

There is a difference in having laws or rules that effect other people and having rules or laws that don't effect anyone other than me. Drug testing effects nobody except the person peeing in the cup.. cell phones at school were allowed until some children started using them to text answers to test to each other..the High School allows IPODS (so I don't know about that one) Gum isn't allowed because children were sticking their nasty chewed gum to the bottom of desk... carrying a weapon is a danger to other students. I agree on the seat belt issue it should never been made into law..but I have to comply just the same. Driving while intoxicated puts others in danger..many states do not require wearing a mototcycle helmet but as of right now Tennessee does but that is subject to change.

Our Government mandates how our money is spent and who we go to war with..personally I always thought it was my tax money and I should have some say in how it's spent (but that'll never happen no matter who is in office)

Why should I have to Homeschool my child in order to protect their rights? If I chose to homeschool then my child could not have the same benefits as she would in a public school not only where sports is concerned but the interaction with her peers. Many Private schools drug test their athletes also.But it doesn't make it right.

Her drug testing form was signed not because it was the right thing to do..but because she is an athlete and she loves it..she's a good student and never been in any trouble. So why would she have to prove herself worthy by peeing in a cup?

-- Posted by Dianatn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 3:58 PM

I can't believe that I am even replying to your comment sambntn but I must state the obvious. We are not talking about what rights we already don't have sambntn. We are concerned about the rights that we may lose.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 3:59 PM

I have the right against unreasonable searches without probable cause. My body is definately the most precious thing I own. So invading my privacy by requiring a drug test is a unreasonable search, because my boss didn't see me smoking a joint the night before (just an example, did not happen) and he doesn't smell it today, so no probable cause. If he saw me, then no drug test would be required would it? If he smells it, then I could agree that yes he has probable cause.

William

-- Posted by HorseGentler on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 4:04 PM

Would it be fair to say that since the government can ALLOW such things as alcohol and cigarettes to continue in our population although it kills thousand a year, that some of the laws and rules that have made some drugs illegal, aren't correct either? I mean, since we are talking about our rights, and things we are and are not allowed to do, let's just say for one minute the government grew some sense inside their head and did away with alcohol, replacing it with-marijuana-the death rate change alone would be enough impact to prove that the government isn't always correct when making new laws and restrictions. I think more people should opt to homeschooling, since they keep adding more and more rules and restrictions in public schools, and at the same time, cutting the budgets.

-- Posted by weezie84 on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 4:06 PM

Diana:great post...well everyone knows how I feel and that's not going to change...gotta go do something more productive now. Great subject David!

William

-- Posted by HorseGentler on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 4:09 PM

The last thing I want to say about this is that if you want your child to feel the threat of a drug test then you should have them tested. But please, do it the old fashioned way. Take them to the lab and pay for it yourself. ;)

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 4:43 PM

In related news:

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=...

-- Posted by Brian Mosely on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 5:42 PM

Well that's interesting although it's not the job I would want. I don't know a lot about sewage disposal but what would that tell them except what kind of drugs were in a certain community. They still wouldn't know where it was coming from, would they? I mean don't all of the city sewage go to one place? If so and they found a lot of meth and thought there was a meth lab somewhere ..they still wouldn't have a clue as to where in Shelbyville it is located.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 8:41 PM

weezie, my comments are related to yours and it will probably start a fire storm of flaming posts directed towards me, but I just have to write this.

I personally choose not to use illegal drugs, smoke cigarettes or use alcohol to excess. I enjoy a mixed drink at night as I am relaxing. That being said many of you may wonder if I'm drunk as I write this, but I haven't had that drink yet.

All drugs should be legalized, recreational drugs heavily taxed and as long as one does no harm to others or puts no one else at risk, then that person should be able to use until they have had enough or they overdose.

Why would I advocate such a thing? Well what our country has done with the war on drugs is make it possible for billions of dollars to leave this country untaxed for other countries that definately do not have this nations best interest in their minds. The very people that legislate, enforce and judge people of drug crimes are the one's making the most money off of keeping drugs illegal. Drug dealers are in it for the money, which they are not going to pay tax on, but if you took the money out of it, then the smuggling and dealing would cease. If recreational drugs were legal, then they would be cheaper and the otherwise thieving drug abuser would not have to steal to support their habit, of course there would always be exceptions to this rule, as some people would steal just for the sake of it.

What about all the people that would become addicted? Well it's been my experience that some folks will do things , such as take drugs, because they are rebelling or for the thrill of living on the edge. Make it just another dirty habit and many of these folks will stay awauy from it. What about the folks that are addicted and HAVE to have it? Well as I stated earlier let these people do all they want until they have had enough or overdose. Take the money from the taxes and open rehab centers for the people that really want help and those people that want help should be guaranteed to receive it. As it is right now very few people are in rehabs because they want to get sober. Most are there because they have been arrested and hope to decrease the criminal liability when they go to court or because someone else has pushed them to go to rehab or else. These are the wrong reasons for going to rehab and the majority of these people will relapse and fall back into using drugs. The people that are sick & tired of being sick & tired are the ones that are good rehab candidates. They want to change, but either they don't have the money to go to rehab or even worse they have to wait for an opening if they can even get an opening. Sure there is always an opening for a celebrity or a person that has the money, but most drug abusers do not fit this mold.

Our prisons would no longer be clogged with drug users. Why does this matter? It costs more to incarcerate someone than it does to educate one child. Prisons have only so much space. In the 80's because of the public uproar over highly publicized overdoses and drug crimes the Reagan administration started the war on drugs. Mandatory sentences for drug crimes, especially for crack cocaine caused our prisons to be filled with mostly non-violent drug users. Because their are only so many beds in prison the parole boards increasingly began releasing violent offenders or child molesters before the drug offenders...I'll take my changes with the drug offenders.

Last but not least we have bigger problems because of the drug laws. As everyone knows our borders are very porous. Our Border Patrol has to watch for illegals wanting to enter the U.S. with some of these folks possibly being terrorists. Because of the drug laws smugglers will always be trying to get their wares to market and these are the people that are very dangerous to our LEO's as they are usually heavily armed and have very little to lose. If their was no money in smuggling then this traffic over the border would cease and our Border Patrol could concentrate on keeping illegal immigrants and other less desirables out.

How long will this country keep doing what doesn't work at an enormous cost to not only the people that are breaking the laws, but to every U.S. taxpayer who foots these bills.

William

-- Posted by HorseGentler on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 9:46 PM

Very good post Horsegentler. There is a lot of good thoughts in your comment and I do agree to some point. I guess my biggest problem to your post is I just have a hard time in letting the words to legalize drugs to come out of my mouth. I am hard core against drug use. But I also know the same people who are users today would be the same users if it were legal.

You are right about rehab though, when I first moved back to Tennessee I went to work at a rehab center most of the people were there because the courts gave them the option of rehab or jail needless to say most choose rehab..they were also returnees who have been in rehab numerous times before..

-- Posted by Dianatn on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 10:08 PM

Diana: I also hate drugs and the damage they do. In 1990 my best friend from chilhood overdosed on pain killers, which he became addicted to after injuries he got in a car accident. His family, his fiancee, myself and everyone that loved this man tried to get him help. We intervened and convinced him to go to rehab. He went and relapsed 3 days after coming home. A few months later he got arrested. Off to rehab he went again and he got probation. He failed drug tests and got his probation revoked and did 6 months in jail. One would think that would be enough, but not for Tom, he continued to use as we begged him to please stop. We tried to reason with him but we could not convince him that he was in trouble, because he once was a very stocky young man that weighed 200 lbs. He had been reduced to skin & bones weighing 125 lbs. after 2 years of heavy drug use. I saw all of this with my own eyes, actually watching him die before my eyes and telling him just that.

He died 8/29/90 believing he was in control of his drug use and after 2 "forced" rehab stays. I HATE DRUGS AND THEIR RESULTS, but some people cannot be reached no matter what. Tom was not a dumb person. He finished 3rd in his high school class and completed his college degree as an Engineer. The point is that this man had every opportunity to quit and had many people supporting him through his attempt to get sober, but it was not really HIS attempt. It was always because someone or something was forcing him to go.

Finally and we will never know if it was Tom's idea or someone elses he tried to go to rehab one more time. The center did not have a bed available and he was told he could reserve a bed for check in after 3 weeks. Two days later his little sister found him in his room as she was coming to get him to come to her b-day party.

For these reasons I have formed the opinions that I have concerning drug laws and the availability of rehab beds.

William

-- Posted by HorseGentler on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 10:49 PM

"Q. Is drug testing a violation of an adolescent's privacy rights?

A. This objection usually stems from a misunderstanding of the purpose of student drug testing. Foremost, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that student drug testing can be done, but must be done confidentially. Schools have a responsibility to respect students' privacy, so it is vital that only the people who need to know the test results see them--parents and a school administrator, for example. The results should not be shared with anyone else, not even teachers. The purpose is not to expose and punish children for drug use, but to deter use, intervene early with those who have just begun to use, and to provide professional help to those who have become dependent.

An appropriate comparison is screening for other public health problems. Most parents and students are not concerned about privacy rights when schools require tests for infectious diseases. When concerned citizens realize drug dependence is a disease of the brain that spreads through non-addictive users, their privacy objections usually dissipate."

- -http://www.randomstudentdrugtesting.org/faqs.html#faq16

I am one who is adamently opposed to government overstepping its boundaries... But when the safety and protection of the innocent victims are compromised due to the suspects plea of privacy rights, I do believe the greater threat should be addressed.

It is debatable and will always be a hot topic. If there is nothing to hide then why be opposed to it? READ the post I just made carefully, before you jump to conclusions on my stance.

I am not saying any specific group of students should be singled out... That is discrimination. Perhaps the entire student body should be tested. Everyone would be upset if a student was spreading a deadly disease, and was hiding that disease from others, and then all of a sudden your child becomes infected with an incurable disease. To me, the rights of others to be protected from that obviously destructive activity is more important than the protection of privacy rights for the drug users/distributors.

I can honestly see both sides of the story here because I do not believe in government intervention in our personal lives unless there are threats, but sometimes you don't know a threat exist until you take proactive measures.

DISCLAIMER: It is obvious I did not, and never will vote for George Bush or any of his lineage for ANYTHING.... Therefore the 'Patriot Act' is a disgrace to this country and everything the Constitution stands for. This among many other factors is why I can not completely take a definitive stance on such a negotiable issue. Though I do think random testing of students is much less severe than holding innocent people imprisoned for indefinent amounts of time for crimes they did not commit, or were never even charged for.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 11:43 PM

I read this entire blog and I find myself agreeing with Nathan Evans.

At first, I was on the fence. I agree with rights but I also would like to shelter my children as much as possible from drugs at school. If random drug tests could do this, then I would be for it.

BUT, then in a matter of a couple of days you went from testing for drugs, to testing for diseases (HIV, TB, etc) then to getting rid cigarettes and alcohol.

Where will it end?

-- Posted by saveit on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 6:10 AM

I agree with Darrick_04, and that was very well put. Drugs can be a disease and if testing "timmy" for that disease means that he gets caught and suffers the reprocussions, so be it. It also means it may make "timmy's" best friend wake up and think "they didn't get me this time but they will next time". Here's another idea to throw out. What about a "drug ed". We already have sex ed and that is pretty much useless the kids don't pay attention. We need someone to really drive home points to these kids as to what WILL happen to you.

-- Posted by sambntn on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 7:47 AM

Out of 121 comments, I think that's the best idea I've heard yet, sambntn. A drug ed would be a great idea and it would put an early stop to those thinking about doing drugs. When we were in 6th grade, yes, we had a D.A.R.E. course, but that was it, it was dismissed as if we were going to learn from that single course and that course alone. I speak on behalf of the ones who have tried drugs, and luckily, it never got out of hand with me. Today, most kids try these drugs to fit in, and sometimes, it's simply because they get bored. If there were more thought put into what the kids and young adults actually enjoy doing as well as a drug ed class, then I really do believe we could see some changes.

-- Posted by weezie84 on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 7:58 AM

I also agree with darrick when stating that drugs can be a disease just as other diseases today.

-- Posted by weezie84 on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 8:02 AM

We educate our children against unprotected sex to avoid the spread of HIV along with other STD's but all we tell them about drugs is to "say no." I just don't see this system working. We never tell them why to say no, just because we say they need to. We never tell them if you snort too much cocaine and you get lucky enough not to die you will rot out the side of your nostril. STD's are socially unacceptable but drug use is not, that is why condom use gets through but saying no to drugs does not.

-- Posted by sambntn on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 8:33 AM

I am sorry I just do not buy into the fact that drugs are a disease just like I do not buy into that alcohol is a disease. Drugs and alcohol are a conscious choice..I do not believe anybody makes a choice to have cancer, aids or any other real disease. At some point in your life you first chose to do your drug of choice . If you are going to call drugs and alcohol a disease then you must call smoking a disease also.

There is a difference between an addiction and a disease.

Regardless of how you feel about the subject of random drug testing, children have the same rights as you do. It is no more right to random drug test a child without cause than it is for the police to pick you up and demand a lie detector test from about a bank robbery without just cause. I don't know which America you live in but in my America we are Innocent until proven guilty .You shouldn't have to prove your innocence without just cause.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 8:39 AM

So the police may come to your home and want a lie detector because you LOOK like the person in the video tape from the bank. Are you suggesting that with that same reasoning in mind we should drug test children because they LOOK like a drug user?

-- Posted by sambntn on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 8:43 AM

What does a drug user look like?

And if I looked like the bank robber that WOULD be just cause...duh

-- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 8:46 AM

I look like a ton of people that I am not. That is what I am trying to say. How is a better way to figure out which ones should be tested?

-- Posted by sambntn on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 9:15 AM

You can not look at a person and tell they are a drug user if you could it would make my job and the police's job a whole lot easier.

But the fact is the schools are not even picking out children who they "think" are drug users they are picking out children in sports. These children must maintain a grade point average of at least a B in order to play sports and not be in any trouble at school (does that fit your image of a drug user?) If they are indeed going to drug test children then it should be done throughout the student body don't just say because you play sports you are subject to drug test.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 10:01 AM

I agree they should test throughout the student body.

On a side note. My little sister graduated in 2004, in her graduating class there was a very popular young lady who amongst other organizations was in FCS (fellowship of christian students). A few weeks before graduation this young lady was placed in rehad for her addiction to cocaine.

That is the point I am trying to get across.

-- Posted by sambntn on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 10:06 AM

So you couldn't look at her and tell she was a drug user?

Our little town of Shelbyville is filled with drug users but that does not give anybody the right to randomly test the entire population of Shelbyville does it?

-- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 10:25 AM

No, you couldn't tell. That is exactly my point. How would you know which students to test? You would just tell the entire population, right? That would have worked. Why not test the entire population? It is illegal, you aren't supposed to be doing it, period.

-- Posted by sambntn on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 10:39 AM

It is Illegal to do drugs yes.. but that don't mean that you can be tested just because it is illegal to do drugs.

If you are stopped by the police either thru a roadblock or maybe a traffic stop ..is it ok for the police to test you for alcohol just because DUI is illegal...NO it isn't they must have JUST CAUSE.

And you don't know which students to test that is exactly why no one should be tested without a reason..now if the student is coming to school with evidence of drugs (smells of pot, blurry eyes, slurred speech,rapid mood swings, track marks) then yes that student should be tested those are signs of a drug user and would be Just Cause to test but that is NOT the ones who must sign release forms.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 10:53 AM

Sam, child pornography is also illegal. Would you mind if the government came to your house without notice or cause to check your computer for child porn? It's equal to the same thing: NO PROBALE CAUSE = ILLEGAL SEARCH

William

-- Posted by HorseGentler on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 11:01 AM

Ok Diana, at this point it is time to agree to disagree and move on. It was a great discussion. Thanks :)

-- Posted by sambntn on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 11:02 AM

William, no I really don't care if they want to come to my home and check my computer. Doesn't bother me in the slightest.

-- Posted by sambntn on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 11:03 AM

This is my last response here for a while I have work to do ...

The schools can not test a child for anything without parents permission. I would say at least 90 percent of children who are drug users, their parents already know they are users...Do you honestly think that these parents would sign a release form for their child to be tested? NO I think not...so then all you have is the signed forms of children who are not drug users..and you still are no better off because the drug users parents didn't sign a release. So what have you accomplished besides spending unnecessary money testing children who weren't the problem in the first place.

Drugs have always been in the schools they have been around for 100's of years and will continue to be here..

That is exactly why I said It is the parents responsibility to be sure your child is taught the dangers of drugs and how to use the word NO.

Does that give you a guarantee your child will not do drugs Heck No… Life has no Guarantees in anything we do. But it gives you just as much of a guarantee as testing for drugs will.

Personally if I were you I'd worry more about alcohol addiction than I would drugs it seems much more a problem with today's teenagers.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 11:12 AM

sam, will you give up all of your rights so easy? I for one will not. It is not an issue of if I have something to hide, but more the principles that this country was founded.

I have enjoyed reading many of your posts sam, but I sincerly hope that there are not many people like you that are willing to give up their rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

William

-- Posted by HorseGentler on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 11:46 AM

The Patriot Act has already overstepped plenty of rights, guaranteed by our Constitution. Though you, I, or others you know may not have been directly affected (THAT YOU KNOW OF) it is in fact still no different.

As for the drug testing, we'll never end the discussion, because there is always that fine light of what is legal and what is not. I feel that it isn't a right for people to get away with things that could eventually be dangerous or harmful to others around them. Who's to say one of those very same children in school, that isn't allowed to be tested, is a drug dealer and he has undersold some big name druggies, well all of a sudden you have the lives of all those innocent children and even family members put in jeapordy because as is evident some people will kill whoever it takes to get there money or 'justice.'

It's a two way street. Who do you protect? The innocent or the guilty? If there are innocent children being tested then so be it, they're just in the clear. But if students are users of any illegal drugs and are found to test positive for any of them, then they can be given help or assistance to quit. It could ultimately be the very thing to deter a life filled with emptiness and living for the next sale.

Again, I for one do not agree with government intervention when it is unjust and there is no cause for their action. But who is served proper justice when all those innocent people are in harms way due to the protection of the one partaking in illegal activity? One last thing, not all drug users are obvious, but Dianatn you did say that you think if testing is to be done it should be for all the student body? That is my argument. Did I read your stance correctly? Please correct me if I am wrong, because I do not wish to accuse you of saying something you didn't. :)

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 7:03 PM

darrick I don't even like the drug testing the entire student body idea because it isn't going to work.Because you can't test children without parents permission and every parent is not going to sign a permission form. But if they were going to be hell bent on drug testing kids I do not think they should pick out certain groups such as athletes, band members or whoever.

You and I both know the children that should be tested are not in any of these groups of kids.

Even if they did random drug testing of the entire student body chances of them actually testing a child who was a user is slim to nothing. Most REAL dealers are not users, so you wouldn't get the dealers ..thus you would still have the drugs in the schools.

Just some food for thought here: How many children do you think are dealers at school for Mommy or Daddy? Do you think for one minute that parent would sign a form for their little dealer to be drug tested?

NO...they wouldn't and they don't have to Our schools are Public Schools and unless they have JUST CAUSE the school can not Force a drug test on a student without permission. So bascially we would be spending school funds to test kids that we know are clean..isn't that a waste of much needed school funds?

-- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 7:59 PM

I dunno...

Like I said, I waiver on my position due to violation of rights, people being singled out, and even the possibility of flawed test results.

But again, great blog!

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 8:49 PM

well maybe I just lived outside the small hometown too long but I do know for a fact THE REAL DEALERS, you know the ones are in it for the money instead of the drugs.. do not use. They know they are snorting or smoking their profit ..they also never deal where they live. But of course I am sure most of the dealers around here are small time.The ones who use and dabble in dealing are not real dealers they are junkies, crackheads, potheads or whatever you wish to call them. They are not in the drug business to make money they are in it looking for their next fix.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 11:18 PM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.