Current Trends Essay

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------------------------------------------------- Teachers Call for Scrapping of Random Drug Tests in Schools ------------------------------------------------- The Alliance of Concerned Teachers today called for the scrapping of a government plan to subject teachers and students to random drug testing. The Department of Education and the Commission on Education have announced that they will implement the drug testing program in highs schools and universities and colleges nationwide in response to Pres. Gloria Arroyo’s renewed campaign against illegal drugs. “This random drug testing program will violate certain basic rights. First of all, it’s discriminatory. Why are teachers and students as a group being singled out for testing? Does being in school make one more likely to be a drug user? Secondly, it’s an invasion of privacy. No one can be compelled to undergo testing without his or her consent,” said ACT chairperson Antonio Tinio. “What purpose will these tests achieve? At best they may help identify a number of drug users in schools. But will it in any way reduce the supply of illegal drugs available in the streets? Certainly not. The tests should be scrapped,” said Tinio. “This early in Mrs. Arroyo’s stint as the country’s anti-drug czar, she’s already resorting to token measures which will have no real effect on the drug trade.” He added that the funds to be used for the testing program could be put to better use. “For instance, the funds could be used to train guidance councilors in identifying and counseling drug users in schools. Tinio noted that real progress can only be made in combating drugs if the big-time drug syndicates are targeted and dismantled. “Instead of harassing teachers and students, subjecting them to the indignity of random drug testing, the Arroyo administration should focus on landing the ‘big fish’ in the drug trade, namely the

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