Archive for Thursday, September 21, 2006

Drug battle still rages

September 21, 2006

There has been shock and outrage in Baldwin City since the alleged prescription drug usage among members of the Baldwin High School football team was revealed. That's fine, but what it should also do is serve as yet another wakeup call that bad things do happen here.

Baldwin City is not immune to what happens in other communities and that certainly includes the schools. All we have to do is go back to the revealing drug and alcohol survey done in 2005 at BHS. If you've forgotten or you haven't seen it, it's on our Web site at www.baldwincity.com. It's at the top of the front page.

We ran that in the regular issue in its entirety in 2005 and have kept it on the Web site as a reminder. What's happened since then?

As far as drug usage at the high school, probably little. We'd guess the numbers then reflect pretty much what's going on now. It's not pretty.

At the time of the survey, a drug testing proposal was brought to the school board by BHS coach and teacher Kit Harris and athletic trainer Gary Stevanus, who is now activities director at the school. They strongly supported the measure then and their attitudes -- as outlined in the story in today's issue -- haven't changed. The proposal was never voted on and just basically died. That's too bad.

Their contention then that drugs were a problem in the school has only been shown to be right on the money. It's not just "that element" at the high school that is using drugs, it's athletes and others involved in the myriad of activities offered, as well as others.

We can't afford to put our heads in the sand -- again.

Does that mean we should demand drug testing of students involved in activities at BHS? Possibly. We need to talk about it. We need to explore all avenues when it comes to the safety of our children and that includes how best to keep them away from drugs and alcohol.

Is that drug testing? Maybe. But, it's also education. That's both at school and at home. It's about all of us watching our young people and not being afraid to say something, especially when drugs and alcohol are involved.

We all have a place in this fight. Don't back down.

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