Here you go, folks, the latest in drug-war hysteria: A 12 year old girl wants to join the "scrapbooking club" at her middle school in Milford, Pennsylvania. She can, it seems, on the condition that she pass a drug test:
One day she took home a permission slip. It said that to participate in the club or any school sport, she would have to consent to drug testing.
“They were asking a 12-year-old to pee in a cup,” Kathy Kiederer said. “I have a problem with that. They’re violating her right to privacy over scrapbooking? Sports?”
The New York Times reports
The Kiederers, whose two daughters are now in high school, are plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Delaware Valley School District, with the daughters identified only by their first initials, A. and M. The parents said that mandatory drug testing was unnecessary and that it infringed on their daughters’ rights. (For privacy reasons, they asked that their daughters’ first names not be published.)
A lawyer for the school district declined to comment, citing the pending litigation.
It is difficult to gauge how many middle schools conduct drug tests on students. States with middle schools that conduct drug testing include Florida, Alabama, Missouri, West Virginia, Arkansas, Ohio, New Jersey and Texas.
Read the whole thing here. And then call your local middle school to see what sort of idiotic hoops they're making kids jump through.
But before you go, school yourself on the sad cases from years gone by in which the Supreme Court has ruled that it's all good to require drug tests as a condition for participation in extracurricular activities at public schools. The most recent SCOTUS ruling, in 2002, pathetically involved a girl who participated in choir and an academic quiz team. And acknowledged that students inolved in extracurricular activities are actually less likely to use drugs than kids who don't participate.
Must-reads on the topic:
Matt Welch's 2006 Los Angeles Times piece, "His Cup Runneth Over with Annoyance"