Letters to the Editor September 21

Disappointed in the drug test decision

It is clear that Coach Charlie Hall's concern for the players on the Grizzly football team transcends his desire to merely win games on the field. In his attempt to curb marijuana and alcohol use among his players through random drug testing, he shows that he is first and foremost a "life coach" and a true educator. I honor Coach Hall for his moral courage and leadership on behalf of our high school kids. It is evident that Coach Hall is a guy who first and foremost really cares about kids.

I am deeply disappointed in the Ashland School Board's vote to say no to drug testing of the football team. In its decision to undermine Coach Hall, the board rejected an excellent opportunity to put real teeth into "Just say no to drugs." Based on my reading about the meeting in the Tidings, it appears that board succumbed to a bunch of silly arguments against testing.

I strongly disagree that drug testing would not be a deterrent to drug use if a positive drug test denied an athlete the privilege of playing on a elite sports team. When our school board shrinks from confronting head on the drug problem among our students, it makes it all the easier for us as a community to ignore and fail to take action against a serious and growing problem.

Barbara Oberto Breneiser


Drug testing is not a solution to drug use

Fact: Extracurricular activities in high school are an enriching and desirable part of student education. Teens that participate in athletics, band, debate, etc., typically are more successful in academics as well.

Fact: Teens (even those that abstain) view the use of alcohol and marijuana as a common social activity rather than abhorrent behavior practiced by outcasts and deviants. The social climate tolerates drug experimentation and occasional use.

Bad idea: Drug test all students in extracurricular activities.

Consequence: Participation in extracurricular activities declines.

Conclusion: Accept reality. Deal with drugs (like other potentially harmful activities such as sex and driving) with a reality-based approach to drug education. (Resource: www.safety1st.org)

Claudia Little


Rush Limbaugh not a serious commentator

Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer, a highly-paid buffoon straight out of vaudeville; his "humor" is of the aggressively sadistic type that brings howls of laughter to certain types of people. (See Sept. 18 letter "Is Rush right?") But Limbaugh is not a serious political or social commentator, being ignorant and foolishly in love with his own voice.

Having voted for Ralph Nader last November, I am not a fan of President Obama, and I judge his administration's initiatives so far to be inadequate, wrong-headed and in fact too similar to those of the wretched and incompetent war criminal he replaced.

I have not been "silent" about my criticisms of President Obama but, really, it is quite difficult for opposition voices to be heard, unless one is a racist, tea-partying, gun-toting, very angry and confused fan of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and their ilk. I hope to see the letter-writer out there soon, protesting the "Bush-Obama War." Silence gives consent.

Gerald Cavanaugh


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