From the editor's desk
Big Brother trumps parental rights with drug policy
School officials used Supreme Court rulings that basically said its okay to drug test students in school activities to justify its latest scheme to invade the privacy of students and parents alike. It also cited Supreme Court rulings that prohibit school districts from drug testing teachers as the reason why it will hold students to a higher standard than its teachers.
Here is a shortlist of some of the other things the same Supreme Court says is okay, but most of us would never do: worship the devil instead of Jesus; kill an unborn baby but not one born alive; look at, possess and/or create cartoon images or lifelike drawings of child pornography; burn the American flag, etc. The list of objectionable – many would say repugnant – acts that are perfectly legal goes on and on, but the vast majority of us would never dream of doing them.
The same as the vast majority of people in Valdez would never dream of arbitrarily drug testing students – especially students trying to participate in healthy and wholesome activities like Native Youth Olympics and band.
It has been said during public meetings on the issue that just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean you should.
The district can take the savings from not testing the students and invest it in drug education and efforts to try to bring even more students into the activities, especially those at risk or who may already be doing drugs and are not participating in much of anything at all.
The five of seven school board members that voted for the policy at its first reading last month have a fine opportunity to rethink their actions and vote down this well-meaning but intrusive policy at its next board meeting on Dec. 8.
The public – especially parents, teachers and community leaders - that are troubled by this policy need to attend the next meeting and speak up. Contacting board members, through email, phone calls, personal contact and even snail mail is also important. Their contact information is on the district website, http://www.valdezcityschools.org.
There is also an information meeting on the subject at Valdez High School this Thursday, Dec. 4 from 7-8:30 p.m.