Freeport, Illinois — In an article we brought you in August of last year noting changes students and parents could expect at the Freeport High School in the upcoming school year, one of them pertained to sports.
Students who participate in sports are required to take and pass mandatory random drug tests. In an article by WREX it was reported that 500 athletes so far have been tested. The school tests around 7 students each week and of the students tested, 12 of them have tested positive. The report states that they were mostly for marijuana.
Drug testing students and having the authority and power to randomly test students is a great idea. Anyone who appears to be on drugs in a public school should be subjected to that. These days we have heroin, meth, crack and so much excessive pill drug use it’s out of hand.
But marijuana? Just students?
The school said they knew some would test positive, but that they were surprised to find nearly 8% of them did. (Really? They were surprised by that?)
They went on to say that before, the student would be suspended from the activity and that the students parents would be notified.
However, there’s a new proposal now that would require students to meet with a counselor and take part in an educational program for substance abuse at a total cost of about 3,000. The board will vote on this April 18th at their next meeting.
Here’s a couple points we’d like to make on this.
Obviously, we have a substance abuse problem in our country. Anyone who doesn’t already know that is just blind to reality. Our substance abuse problem however isn’t, marijuana.
Of course 8% of those tested, tested positive. But we have kids strung out on prescription pills. Heroin. cocaine and alcohol too.
Does anyone on the school board know that exactly 5.1 miles to the east there’s a 80,000 square foot facility that produces the very drug these students need an educational program for substance abuse over? They had their first harvest of about 60 plants in October of last year.
High school kids smoke pot. They smoke lots of pot and have been smoking pot for over 60 years. We bet 8% of the kids in detention would test positive too. They need more help and support services than the athlete involved in a school activity does. Probably even 8% of the kids in theater would test positive as well.
We’d even go so far as to suggest that if you went classroom by classroom on any given normal school day, that probably 8% of each class on average would test positive.
Why stop at just sports kids— and what is substance abuse anyway? How do we know they are abusing the substance? Just merely because it was in their system at the time they tested them?
Marijuana stays in the body for up to 30 days. If someone smoked a doobie 3 weeks ago we’d hardly call that abuse of something.
The point is, the usual and typical signs of problem substance abuse are withdrawal, grade degradation, people become inverted and slowly slip away from society. Problem substance abuse would mean they’d drop out of athletics, not sign up for it.
So what is substance abuse. Isn’t it primarily anything harmful to one’s own self? Like coffee or mountain dew?
What about cigarettes or food? How about alcohol? Prescription pills? Or here’s an entirely new thought. What about ‘substance education abuse’? You know, where students withdraw from learning?
These are kids who ‘signed up’ to be involved in a school activity. Is the glee club tested? What about band?
Student council or ROTC kids?
Our schools are here to educate. That is their number one and only main priority. Hit the detention room and drug test those students and put them in a ‘educational program for substance abuse’ training class.
Focus on education and reaching the students who really need help, like those in lower grades or Freeport’s alternative schools. We bet there’s drug use in kids who never sign up for school activities too.
Instead, the news of the day is a bunch of pot heads playing sports. Kids who probably won’t even smoke pot in 10 years and really, who cares if they do?
Kids with decent grades, (good enough to play sports) who already take school serious (at least semi-serious) and are involved in a school activity. Those are the students we effectively target and punish.
One, over marijuana which we grow just 5.1 miles away and secondly, without any indication that there’s any abuse or problem. We just found what could have been some month old pot in their system. Not teachers either. Just our students because apparently you can teach and smoke pot, you just can’t be a student involved in an athletic program. Just the coach.
Maybe since athletes are the only ones getting educational substance abuse help, maybe we should teach failing students to start smoking pot too. Maybe if they’d light up a doobie they could get that extra help from the school.
At the very least, they should be tested right along with anyone else and you certainly shouldn’t have to be involved in a school activity in order to qualify. We all know there’s an awful lot more than 12 students who smoke pot.