Ireland - Kenny calls for school drug tests

Discussion in 'Drug Policy Reform & Narco Politics' started by Lunar Loops, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. Lunar Loops

    Lunar Loops Driftwood Platinum Member & Advisor

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    This from Irish Times:
    Kenny calls for school drug tests

    Patrick Logue

    Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has said the introduction of random drug and alcohol testing in schools could help tackle misuse among young people.
    Speaking at the Young Fine Gael's pre-election conference Mr Kenny said voluntary systems in other countries had resulted students performing better in their exams and "the testing strategy has acted as a strong deterrent to drug taking".
    "Because of peer pressure, when young people are offered drugs or alcohol they may feel that they can't say no, even if they want to," Mr Kenny told the conference.
    The existence of voluntary random drug and alcohol testing schemes in other countries has counteracted this peer pressure, Mr Kenny added. "For the first time, young people have been able to refuse to experiment on the basis that there is a very real chance that they might be caught."
    "I believe that where the management of a school, in consultation with parents, decides to introduce random drug and alcohol testing, then the Department of Education and Science should provide the resources to allow this testing to happen. Instead of continually applying the same rigid and inflexible policies to all schools, I want to empower them to deal with this issue in their own way", he said.
    Mr Kenny also said a zero alcohol rate should be introduced for holders of provisional driving licences and for the first two years of holding a full licence.
    He said he was concerned by number of media reports of young people who are injured or die in road traffic accidents and how many road traffic accidents involve alcohol
    "I believe that we should immediately introduce a new 0.2mg level, essentially a zero-alcohol policy, for every provisional licence holder and for those on a full licence for less than two years, regardless of their age," Mr Kenny said.
    "I believe that most young people are responsible and I know that many have been touched by the tragedy of deaths on our roads and I believe that their support for such a measure will be forthcoming."
     
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  2. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    Re: Kenny calls for school drug tests (Ireland)

    I wish Ireland would get one serious newspaper, so that the Irish at least have the possibility to read something less biased than the rubbish papers that currently are all that's there to influence the people's believes and presure the politicians.
     
  3. FrankenChrist

    FrankenChrist Iridium Member

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    Re: Kenny calls for school drug tests (Ireland)

    Speaking of which, what is the Irish media landscape like, and what are their relations to the church, political parties, religious communities or interest groups?
     
  4. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Gold Member

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    Re: Kenny calls for school drug tests (Ireland)

    Too often Irish newspapers are struck by "slow news days" which produce scaremongering articles as filler. They probably have dozens of little stories they can release or re-release at any given time when it suits them.

    Generally speaking, The Irish Times is regarded as one of the more liberal broadsheet papers as opposed to The Irish Independent which is basically a right-wing propaganda ragsheet. The Irish Examiner is the country's third newspaper but despite growing sales, its content is often just more of the same standardized moderate political pussyfooting. In fact, this seems to be the theme of Irish journalism these days. Most opinion journalists are irrational when it comes to scientific aspects and many of the more left-based columnists have shamed themselves with bad research, misquotations etc.

    As for affiliations with the church and political parties, I'm not too sure. The Times freely criticize although The Independent is often sympathetic to members of clergy and seems Fine Gael (right-wing party, second strongest in the country) supportive.
     
  5. Lunar Loops

    Lunar Loops Driftwood Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Re: Kenny calls for school drug tests (Ireland)

    SWIF should take a look at the wikipedia entries for Irish newspapers as that will give you a good overall view of how the Irish press stacks up (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_newspapers_in_Ireland).

    Just to add a little to what NB had to say, the Irish Examiner is somewhat Munster-centric (Southern province) although it is available country wide.

    The Independent switched its political allegiance in the late 1990's from Fine Gael to Fianna Fail. Traditionally seen as right wing and nationalist (as NB says), it has become somewhat more libertarian on social issues in the recent past (although this is not saying much). Definitely conservative with a capital C when it comes to economics.

    Again, as NB states, The Irish Times is defintely the most liberal/social democratic of the more serious papers.

    Then of course there comes a plethora of tabloid rags (Sun, Star, Mirror, Mail) which are basically the same pathetic fodder as their parent UK papers (same old guff with a slightly Irish-centric slant).
     
  6. renegades

    renegades Silver Member

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    Re: Kenny calls for school drug tests (Ireland)

    Ireland should look at the USAs testing program which has grown in popularity, opposition to it has been expanding to include conservative parents, as well as angry students and civil libertarians. The testing doesn't just invade privacy and curtail civil rights, say critics, it encourages student alcohol use, encourages rebellion in adolescents ripe for battle and discourages extracurricular participation among the kids who need it most, while targeting the most active students for scrutiny.
    Those in charge don't seem to be authoritarians out to repress civil liberties; instead, they appear to be concerned adults who feel like they have to do everything they can to keep kids healthy and alive and safe.
    [​IMG]
    But minor encroachments on the civil liberties of teens, "for their own good," can lead to more dangerous incursions on the civil liberties of all Americans, say critics of testing. Schools around the country already are imposing ever more draconian (and humiliating) drug testing programs on their students. In MMaryland 18 seniors were pulled from their final exams in the spring of 2000 and drug tested on the stage of their high school auditorium simply because of a student rumor that the kids had taken drugs at a party. That same year, in Lockney, Texas, the local public high school imposed random drug testing for all students; kids who failed or refused to take the test were initially told that they would be suspended and forced to pick up trash by the freeway in orange jumpsuits. And that's just the public high schools; private religious high schools get away with far more severe measures.
    Widespread mandatory drug testing of all students, even if it is the wish of many high school administrators, is unlikely to catch on too fast, even if the Supreme Court opens the door to such programs. The reason: At roughly $25 per test per student, a school that randomly tests only 25 students every few weeks will spend thousands of dollars over the course of a semester. Public schools that need money for textbooks and teachers have a hard time justifying that kind of expenditure on pee cups and debatable effectiveness. In fact, Rushville already has had to cut back on its drug testing because the bills were mounting.
    Still, a ruling by the Supreme Court in favor of drug testing will inevitably result in more such programs across the nation. ACLU drug policy lawyer Graham Boyd predicts, "A Supreme Court decision that endorses drug testing will plant the seeds of an idea among school boards that might not otherwise consider it." In Indiana alone, in the month since the Linkes lost their case before the state Supreme Court, drug testing companies such as indiana . report that business with high schools has doubled.
    Ultimately, drug testing in high schools appears to have little to do with fact, and everything to do with panic. Faced with the threat of drug use, parents and administrators feel helpless. It is not hard to understand why they grasp at the most obvious solution, if only to demonstrate that they are doing something -- anything -- even if there's no proof that it works.
    "If we can save even one life, it's worth it," said administrators at Indiana's drug testing schools; but they sidestep discussions of what might be lost in the process. Whatever they feel privately about threats to civil liberties, the school leaders are prepared to publicly defend their programs, regardless of cost or challenges about their efficacy. And they may soon be supported by the highest court in the land.
    The key word in the debate is "unreasonable." Americans are protected by the Fourth Amendment from being forced to undergo unreasonable searches. But those in favor of school drug testing insist that the pervasiveness of drug problems among teens makes it perfectly reasonable to ask all students to undergo random drug testing as a way of solving the problems.
    Superintendents and principals of schools where drug testing occurs enhance this argument by stressing that their programs are "voluntary." In reality, this is something of a fib. Requiring all public high school students to participate in drug testing programs would be a violation of the students' constitutional rights, and everyone knows it; but if students volunteer to do it, well, that's another matter altogether.
    [​IMG]
    The school authorities where testing takes place insist that if the kids don't want to be tested, well then, they don't need to sign up for band or cheerleading or French club. This is called "volunteering" for testing, though this label blithely disregards the fact that extracurriculars are hardly "voluntary" for any kid interested in getting into a good college.
    This is the sort of logic that makes civil libertarians shudder. Supreme Court decisions like Vernonia already have diminished the right to privacy for kids in public schools. How far, wonder critics of testing, can school authorities take this?
    "Parents have been conditioned that for the safety and peace of the whole, we'll give up whatever rights need to be given up," she complains. "Every time they can establish a health or safety issue for the kids, the school can do anything they want."
    Drug testing in schools is not popular here in the states, with either the students or the parents. It won't be popular in Ireland either. with video cameras capturing your urination on film. I would be concerned about security of a film showing him and his Penis pissing into a cup. I do not know how many people view the video. So, many have fought cases in court to protect their rights. It has not cut down drug use because the teens know the urine lab only comes to their school once a month. Once it leaves, all the kids party up a storm knowing they won't be tested for another month.
    Taken from http://dir.salon.com/story/mwt/feature/2002/04/22/drug_testing/index.html?pn=1.
     
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  7. stoneinfocus

    stoneinfocus Silver Member

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    Re: Kenny calls for school drug tests (Ireland)

    We can only hope, this sort of restrictions will create a more open minded generation, in which the privacy and right for privacy and personal autonomy will be taken seriously again, as it was meant to be in the constitution of any democratic country.

    It´s too much, it´s gone too far, this is beyond democracy and freedom, it´s lazy, shallow, unintelligent and consinders nothing, not a problem, nor a solution the same action of an individuum could be.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2007