To the Editor:
I strongly urge the Lacey school district to reconsider its proposal to implement a random drug testing program for all students who participate in extracurricular activities (Super: 'We're Losing Kids' to Lacey's Drug Problem, Jan. 9).
Random student drug testing is opposed by the American Academy of Pediatrics' and its efficacy is not supported by scientific literature. Moreover, school administrators should consider the potential unintended and harmful consequences that may result from enforcing such a policy, such as the destruction of trust between students and adults at school and the hindrance of open communication about important and potentially life-threatening issues adolescents face. Involuntary drug testing may also actually deter participation in athletic activities, which are a proven means of helping students stay out of trouble with drugs.
The thousands of dollars the school district will spend on the drug testing program would better serve students if used to implement an educational program that promotes an honest dialogue between adults and young people -- one grounded in research, compassion and health.
Policy Associate, New Jersey
Drug Policy Alliance