The following is a letter I recently wrote to the editor of the local mass of advertisements OH I MEAN newspaper, regarding a really shoddy article covering another creepy school’s decision to force drug testing on their students and parents, despite some parents’ strong objections.
I just thought you might like to see it, and I feel there are some points here that aren’t mentioned nearly enough.
To the editor:
The woefully biased article covering the ‘Christian’ Academy’s decision to impose mandatory drug testing on its students managed to impart small amounts of information and virtually no concern or variance from a single viewpoint. Not only isn’t it a Christian thing to do — by default distrusting others and disrespecting students who pay highly to attend, as well as belittling their parents’ ability to, you know, parent — it’s a disgusting violation of privacy.
Something your writer neglected to point out, which is so rarely ever pointed out in these articles, is that these drug tests make it possible for anyone administering them to get far more information than just if someone is engaging in illegal drugs. Are people really so stupid as to imagine that they can’t find out other information? The tests can return anything from pot to medication for any condition, which means that these presumptuous schools’ administrations can now find out exactly what medical conditions your children suffer from and can discriminate against them accordingly. There are absolutely zero precautions taken to prevent this.
The question isn’t whether or not you trust your children, it’s whether you trust a school’s administration who clearly do not trust your children, or you, to make decisions about your own lives. They’ve claimed it ‘makes it easier to say no’; hogwash. It takes away any choice, plus invades the right to privacy that every person is supposedly guaranteed. It’s not their business what medication you are taking. And it’s not their place to question your parenting skills or your child’s life choices.
Not only our schools, but our entire society seems to be attempting to shift to being more prisonlike, and that is a concerning trend. If it does not bother you, then it should. Whether you have children or not, whether your children are in these schools or not, this supposedly ‘Christian’ school’s actions have repercussions far beyond their campus. If allowed to stand unopposed, and if allowed to spread, all we will have is de facto intrusions into all our privacy, undermining of our privilege to be parents, and a new generation who assume that they have no right to live their lives free of intrusion.
I encourage a boycott of this academy, and I hope that more parents will withdraw their children from it, and teachers walk away. If you simply handwave these reprehensible actions, you are not only a poor parent, but also certainly a poor Christian, whatever they may call their little schoolhouse.
And in terms of editorial: you need to have a better standard of journalism. This isn’t the only article I’ve seen of late where there’s been scarcely even unilateral perspective, lack of investigation, lack of questioning, and above all, and probably most egregiously, lack of information. That is intolerable in the field of journalism. Shape up.