A POOR EXCUSE FOR A SCHOOL DRUG PLAN
LIEUTENANT Governor Kerry Healey has a plan for addressing teenage drug use: school-based drug testing ( Page A1, May 17 ). Perhaps this is really a jobs-creation plan in disguise, although it's hard to know if it's her job or the job of lawyers involved in appeals that our tax dollars would be supporting. Caught in the middle would be local school officials, presumably acting as enforcers. The plan is public policy at its worst: a shallow, cynical response to a complex problem that places the burden on overwhelmed local school systems and does not address the education and prevention aspects of drug and alcohol abuse. What is her plan for enforcement? Will schools be responsible for responding to inevitable legal appeals?
What happens to kids who "screw up"? Will the Romney administration fund more than two alternative high schools that take in kids who have been kicked out of their local high schools? It's hard to imagine this kind of strategy creating anything but chaos.
It's not hard to imagine that the Romney administration is simply after the $21 million in available federal dollars and will pander to the feds to this end, even at the cost of effective public policy and the best long-term interests of parents, children, and local school systems.
Boston Globe (MA)
Copyright: 2005 Globe Newspaper Company