Parking not birth right

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Parking on a high school campus is not a right. It is a privilege. And a random drug testing of students who use that privilege at Spain Park High School can be a very good thing.

One point in favor of the random drug test, which will be covered by the $5 cost of a parking permit, is that it ensures the safety of other students. Knowing that a teenager is not under the influence of drugs when he or she drives up to a school to park, where other people are walking, cannot be all bad.

The policy approved by the Hoover Board of Education would test students for the presence of 10 different drugs. Testing positive would suspend parking privileges for 45 days for the first offense and 60 days for the second.

A third offense results in the loss of the privilege for the year.

Shelby County Schools already have a stricter policy that suspends parking privileges for a minimum of seven weeks or until the student completes a substance abuse program. They lose the privilege after a second offense.

Many times a parent may not know a child is using drugs until he or she gets caught, or worse, has some medical problem because of it. That is an unfortunate reality. But parents who don&8217;t want their children to be drug tested can opt to not let them drive to school. It&8217;s that simple.

Another point in favor of the drug testing of students who park on campus is that athletes at Spain Park were already being tested. Why should only one segment of the student population be subjected to random drug tests?

If nothing else, the random testing should give parents peace of mind that their children are living a drug- free life