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Posted at 6:30 AM ET, 08/17/2009

Two Tests in One

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Joyce Nalepka
Silver Spring

Regarding the Aug. 5 front-page story “D.C. to Offer STD Tests in Every High School”:

I strongly urge that, while they test for sexually transmitted diseases, the D.C. school system and school board invest in teaching parents not just about the need to curb behavior that spreads STDs but also about the need for testing to identify drug use. Drug use, after all, promotes promiscuous behavior that spreads STDs.

Drug use is rampant in the nation’s schools. The one remedy that holds great promise is random, non-punitive, student drug testing. With such an approach to testing, there is no punishment to the child other than a phone call to the parents to inform them that their child may need help.

Parents will have to take the lead in getting this testing started, but it has been approved by Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court and the Pennsylvania and New Jersey supreme courts.

My organization urged Congress to include drug testing in the No Child Left Behind education law because we were hearing almost daily from parents whose children were in jail, in treatment or dead as a result of drug use. Nearly universally, they told us: By the time I found out he or she was using drugs, it was too late.

If you’re having students provide a urine sample for an STD test, why not check for drugs at the same time?

The writer is president of Drug-Free Kids: America’s Challenge.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | August 17, 2009; 6:30 AM ET
 
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Comments

This is just a comment of general idea about our economy. I think that the government should give Americans billions and billions of money to strengthen the economy. Singling out certain industries just seems silly. If we had money to purchase items and pay our bills then the economy could remain afloat. This make more sense than pouring money into banks and car industries. People who are struggling to pay bills can't afford new cars, or have the credit to borrow money. The rich stay rich and the poor stay poor. Nothing has changed it's only gotten worse.

Posted by: tlmarr | August 18, 2009 3:19 AM | Report abuse

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