SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Drug Testing
By Chris Elliott


September 16, 2009

As parents we are sometimes (oftentimes?) oblivious to what is going on right in front of us. We can't see the forest for the trees. We can't believe that our child would lie to us or take drugs or routinely drink too much. We believe that because their friends come from "good" homes, everything is fine.

If, as parents, we really want to help our children, I recommend selective drug testing. Why waste money drug testing the kid on Honor Roll who plays varsity sports? And who will decide which kids to test? TEACHERS! If there is any group of adults who know what is going on, it is teachers. They see our kids every day and I would wager they know exactly who is slipping down that slope or, perhaps, already laying at the bottom. This is, of course, a great burden to put on teachers, but if parents would develop and support a system whereby teachers could refer individual students for drug testing, we might be able to get a handle on this. It's one small step, but if it opens the eyes of one parent and saves one student, it will be worthwhile.

A program that identifies students with drug problems should not be used to punish that student. If parents consent to this selective drug testing, they must be assured that their child will not be arrested or expelled or punished. The purpose should be to identify children who need help and to provide counseling. There are privacy issues, I know. But, as a parent, if you knew that your child wouldn't be arrested or expelled or punished for a positive result on a drug test, would you be willing to consent to it? It may be the kid on the Honor Roll who plays varsity sports, but wouldn't you want to know before that kid crashed?

Chris Elliott
Ketchikan, AK

About: " K-12 Ketchikan School District; former School Board member; mother/wife"

Received September 15, 2009 - Published September 16, 2009


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Ketchikan, Alaska