- - Tuesday, January 27, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The Berlin Wall divided the city of Berlin into east and west. As such it restricted progress of the city. Like the Berlin Wall, a wall of denial about employee drug use exists in local school systems. Also like the Berlin Wall, drug use restricts progress. However, unlike the Berlin Wall which was constructed of stone, the wall in the local school systems is constructed of marijuana, cocaine and other drugs.

In a speech at the Brandenburg Gate near the Berlin Wall on June 20, 1987, President Ronald Reagan challenged Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev by saying, “Tear down this wall!” With the same resolve, local school administrators and politicians are challenged to tear down the wall that blocks mandating drug testing as a condition of employment. The time of hypocrisy and expediency is over. Our children deserve intelligent, honest, sober leadership.

How can any school system expect to intelligently move forward if employees are under the influence of drugs? It cannot. Furthermore, how can local school system leaders honestly assure parents that their children are being educated and cared for by drug-free employees if they do not use drug testing? They cannot. It’s time for local school systems to practice what they preach. “Drug-free” must become more than a slogan.

KEVIN PALMER

Martinez, Ga.


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