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No More Random Drug Testing for Teachers

The teachers are supposed to be the good examples for life. They are the ones who are supposed to tell the kids to “just say no” to drugs, and to teach them about how bad they are and divert them away from using them, ever. They are supposed to discourage them from drinking alcohol while they are underage. But for some teachers, who, after all, are regular people who just happen to have trained for that particular job, this is too high of an expectation to live up to. In other words, from time to time we read a story about a teacher who is arrested for drug usage, or even worse, for drug sales to his students.

It was out of a desire to make sure that the teaching staff are drug free that the government here in Hawaii decided to initiate random drug testing among the teachers. The state had pushed for this and it became a part of the 2007 contract which the teachers agreed to. But the Hawaii State Teachers Association has fought the program for the past four years. They received the help of the ACLU to help them.

Those fighting the random testing believed that it is an unconstitutional, expensive and unnecessary program.

On Monday, September 12, 20011, the program to randomly test teachers for drugs or alcohol was ended. An agreement was signed. It sounds as though it wasn’t so much because they were convinced, but rather because Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s chief negotiator and others ended it so that there would be no further expense and risk of litigation.

Some parents are not going to be happy about this. For one thing, these aren’t just “any” workers, they are the people who are influencing our children. If other jobs expect random drug testing, why not this critical one also? For another thing, while it may teach the kids that persistence helps one reach a goal, it may also teach them that whining long enough wears down the opposition.

It’s not all bad news though. The Teacher’s Association does not want there to be drugs in the schools. They do support the testing of any teachers who are suspected of using drugs.


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