Schools should focus on stamping out drugs

Posted: Thursday, November 08, 2007

I find interesting all the rhetoric in the paper about the new high school and curriculum that is being discussed and how both will help lower the dropout rate in the district, when neither one focuses on the real problem.

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The real problem is alcohol and drugs. Students are entering high school already using and drinking, and by the time they get to their junior year, several are already full-blown addicts.

I remember a few years ago when the district wanted to have the police bring dogs into the school and go through the lockers. Parents complained that was an invasion of the privacy of the students' private lockers. The lockers are school property and do not belong to the students, and the school has every right to go through them. By students' own admission, close to 80 percent of graduating seniors are drinking and using.

It is also interesting that the district would rather pay a lawyer lots of money trying to prove a point about something that happened in the past (not that I approve of the performance of the student in question - I do not) instead of using the money to train school staff about alcohol and drugs and what to look for so the incident doesn't happen again.

Having worked in the high school in the past and sat in classrooms where students were obviously high and staff did nothing, I have gone so far as to mention it to the teachers and was told "Oh well, he isn't causing any trouble and isn't interfering with my teaching, so let it be."

Several years ago, the whole varsity basketball team was at a party where there was alcohol being served and nothing was done. It is my feeling that all of the student participating in sports should be required to have mandatory urinalyses on a regular basis, and if there is any trace of alcohol or drugs in their system they should be kicked off the team.

Let's look at the real problem instead of looking for answers when the real answers are staring us right in the face.

Bill Burk


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