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September 15, 1997

Opinion

Northshore Drugs Testing for Athletes

  The Northshore School district is attempting to implement mandatory and random drug testing of high school athletes.
  
   There will be a community forum on September 29th 1997 from 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. at the Bothell High School Gym to discuss the "Pros and Cons" of drug testing.
  
   However, the panel the school district has formed seems to only represent the "pro" side of this issue, in other words, testing lab representatives who stand to gain monetarily from an implementation of such a program, etc.
  
   I noted they had not invited the American Civil Liberties Union. Before you decide to support this costly program please consider the following.
  
   What Could Happen To Your Child? Think about what is happening here! The school district, a branch of the Government mandated to teach students, is now attempting to make itself a law enforcement agency without the consent of the people or having been properly trained as law enforcement officials.
  
   They are asking you to voluntarily give up your childs constitutional protection against unreasonable search.
  
   Amendment IV: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
  
   What probable cause does the school district have to search your child? The fact that he/she is an athlete? Why not the fact that he/she is in drama club or in honor society? Why not the fact that someone is a school teacher or an administrator?
  
   If you believe for one minute that if right now I approached any member of the Northshore school district administration and demanded they urinate in a cup for me they would not feel intimidation, shame, humiliation and apprehension, you are wrong.
  
   So why allow them to do the same to your child at public expense? They are asking to take your child's urine, hair samples, blood samples, etc. They are asking the power to force your child to urinate in a cup at random. Simply because that child wishes to better him/her self by participating in sports.
  
   They are attempting to control behavior through fear and intimidation rather than education.
  
   WHAT could happen to your child if urine samples are contaminated by a disgruntled employee of a drug lab? Public disgrace? Suspension from school? Wrongful imprisonment? Legal bills that exceed the equity in your home?
  
   What could happen if people you do not know, and therefore cannot trust, have samples of your childs' DNA? Could those blood, hair and urine samples be left at a crime scene wrongfully implicating your child?
  
   I am against drug use by human beings -- please do not get me wrong here. I am asking you to consider that each year people in government find ways to erode YOUR RIGHTS as a citizen of this great nation. They do it slowly, one step at a time in the name of safety, but as Benjamin Franklin, said "They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
  
   My ancestors spilled their blood so that you and I could live WITHOUT FEAR of government. I intend to honor their sacrifice and put a stop to these "Big Brother thumbscrews and intimidation" tactics by the school district. I have contacted the ACLU for assistance in putting a halt to this costly, dangerous infringement upon your children's constitutional rights.
  
   Anyone who wishes to join me, please to do.
  
   Michael Simmons, Woodinville, (425) 402-4318