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Jennie's Journey

Invasion of privacy?

The recent Washington State Supreme Court random drug testing decision left me pondering...how is it an invasion of privacy for a student athlete to undergo drug testing, but not an employee of many businesses?

Student athletes volunteer to participate in sports just as any job applicant volunteers to apply for employment. Job applicants consent to a drug screening when they are confirmed as the chosen individual for the job they have applied.

So, what's the difference if a school decides to have student athletes sign a waiver permitting the school district to subject them to drug screening? They do not, afterall, have to participate in the athletic program of a school. They can opt to avoid athletic activities by not signing a contract or waiver.

If indeed it is an invasion of privacy, how is it that businesses are not subject to the same laws?

I am fully in favor of drug screening provisions for both employment and athletes. I believe society should promote healthy lifestyles that include drug-free workplaces and playing fields.

All too well I am aware of issues surrounding drug abuse. Our police news are riddled with drug offenses, and I am tired of it. I am tired of hearing about our youngsters being involved in drugs.

I am, however, proud of efforts to promote drug awareness. I am proud of the fact that our community has a Drug Abuse Resistance Education program. I am proud of Sunnyside High School's leadership class students, who publicly sought random drug testing of local athletes and who are trying to take a stand against drug usage in their school.

I believe that an important tool, however, has just been removed from their efforts and for them, I am sad.

I can only hope that the community will help these young leaders and provide support for the efforts they are putting forth. Provide for them the tools that are necessary in combating the evil of drugs...so you and I will not see so many instances of crime and drug violations in police reports and media stories.

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