Drug testing does more harm
School drug testing of student athletes may do more harm than good. Student involvement in extracurricular activities like sports has been shown to reduce drug use. They keep kids busy during the hours they are most prone to getting into trouble. Forcing students to undergo degrading drug tests as a prerequisite will only discourage such activities.
Drug testing may also compel smokers of relatively harmless marijuana to switch to harder drugs to avoid testing positive. Despite a short-lived high, marijuana is the only drug that stays in the human body long enough to make urinalysis a deterrent. Marijuana's organic metabolites are fat-soluble and can linger for weeks.
Synthetic drugs are water-soluble and exit the body quickly. A student who takes ecstasy, cocaine or meth on Friday night will likely test clean on Monday morning.
If you think students don't know this, think again. Anyone capable of running a search on the Internet can find out how to thwart a drug test.
The most commonly abused drug and the one most closely associated with violent behavior is almost impossible to detect with urinalysis. That drug is alcohol, and it takes far more lives every year than all illegal drugs combined. Instead of wasting money on counterproductive drug tests, schools should invest in reality-based drug education.
Robert Sharpe, M.P.A.
Drug Policy Alliance
Flag should be placed atop tower
Recently I was headed to Hartselle from Decatur just after dark. As I started down the hill by Wavahoo to cross the bridges over Flint Creek I noticed the dimly lit Hartselle Water Tower standing tall in the distance on top of Hartselle Mountain.
At that moment I thought that if there was a flagpole standing high on top of the water tower with a big United States Flag waving in the breeze and lit real good it would be a beautiful and patriotic site you could see a long way off. As I got past the water tower on the Hartselle side I looked back I could see the water tower in the distance from that side also.
If the Hartselle City Council thinks that putting a flag on top of the water tower is a feasible project I will give the first $100 toward funding.
If you are coming from Decatur just after dark in the near future and as you drop down in the flat by Flint Creek take a look on top of Hartselle Mountain and see what you think.
Teacher thanks community
To all of those who helped make Earth Day for the sixth graders at Hartselle Junior High School such a success this year, I would like to say "thank you." This is the third year these organizations have given of their time and money to this project. Those involved were Hartselle Utilities, Flint Creek Watershed, TVA, Hartselle Beautification and Representative Ronald Grantland. There were also many parents that helped by supplying refreshments.
I would also like to thank the Hartselle Junior High School PTO for providing food for our faculty on Thursday, April 18. Many people took time from their busy schedules to prepare food and serve it. The faculty sincerely appreciates all that you did to make this day so enjoyable.
One last thank you to Senator Tommy Ed Roberts and Representative Ronald Grantland for financial support. Over the last few years I have received over $12,000 from these men to be used in my science classroom. Our kids have directly benefited from these contributions. We have equipment in our science classroom that isn't found in most high schools. This makes teaching science easier for me and more enjoyable for the students.
We are so fortunate to live in a community where the parents, citizens and businesses support our kids. Any request I make is usually met with enthusiasm, whether it be from the administrators, parents or just interested individuals.
Hartselle Junior High School