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Friday, November 5, 2010

Fear the Chess Club (and the school band too)

In Alabama, the Blount County education system has begun mandatory drug testing of some students.
Those who will be randomly tested are kids in grades 7-12 who partake of extracurricular activities: Band, athletics, cheerleading, math club, debating, chess club, and so on.
The school board categorizes this selection of kids as being "those who participate in any activity where they will come in contact with other schools."

Oh well, sure, those rowdy math club kids from the other side of the tracks could be bad influences. It starts with calculus (a gateway operation) and leads to theorems and wild orgiastic fractions.

Is it just me, or does anyone else think that singling out kids in after-school activities is a bass-ackwards approach to discouraging drugs? I mean, is there not a whole ANTI-DRUG MOVEMENT based on providing kids with after-school distractions to KEEP THEM OFF THE STREETS? Kids who play supervised soccer and go to swim meets are not (and I could be wrong here) GENERALLY the ones cooking up meth.

Also, I have problems with kids being coerced into drug testing.
The threat is clear: Either you pee into a cup when we tell you, or you don't get to go to the band competition in Chicago this year; you don't get to compete for the National High School Chess trophy. While I understand that many companies test applicants for jobs (and I have taken my share of pee tests), those applicants are adults.

This Blount County program is funded by a $600,000 grant, by the way. That much dough could buy a heckuva lot of new band instruments, athletic equipment, art supplies and chess boards.

But I guess Blount Countians need the drug tests to make them feel safer.
That way there will be fewer rogue music majors roaming the streets at night, selling meth to math geeks.


Sandra said...

A well writ rant, which I echo whole-heartedly, not that the situation is familiar but the 'throw money at it & it'll be sure to go away' attitude is orribly so.

Harry said...

You are making too much sense Gita. No funding grants for that.

You are absolutely right though.

teresa Cortez said...

I completely agree! And do they randomly drug test teachers? Hmmm? And Politicians? And Priests? Another brick in the wall... Excellent G.

eb said...

crazy stuff, gita! and i'm with you on the fact they could spend the money to fund those clubs and be better off.

i will tell you that amazingly enough, the kids in sports are some of the worst offenders of drugs nowdays. they think it makes them better at their sports. sad, but true. but i think the chess club probably isn't the doping population still! :)