It's the Law!
A new federal law requires every public school
to teach students that "the use of illicit drugs and the
unlawful possession and use of alcohol is wrong and
harmful." The key word is "wrong."
This means that any drug education course is
illegal if it involves the student in a nondirective
process of values clarification, decision making,
critical thinking, choices or options, or in any way
leads the student to conclude that "it's up to me" to
decide whether or not to use drugs. The law has
already decided that illegal drugs are wrong. When it
comes to drugs, there are no "choices" or "decisions"
to be made by students.
It is not just the abuse, but the use, of illegal
drugs that is wrong. A school violates the law if its
curriculum implies that there can be "responsible"
use of illegal drugs.
The new law took effect October 1, 1990. The
U.S. Department of Education says that all public
school districts have certified that they are in
compliance. It's up to you to find out if they really
What's wrong with current 'Drug Ed'?
Many "drug ed" courses in the public schools
today are not drug prevention courses. They are
nondirective and psychological. Instead of teaching
that drug use is wrong, these courses may encourage
children to experiment with illegal drugs by telling
them they can make their own decisions.
Here are some telltale characteristics to look for
when you evaluate drug education:
Decision making process. Students are told
they must go through a process of evaluating options
and making their own decisions. Variations of this
process are sometimes called:
- Values clarification
- Problem solving
- Helping youth decide
- Critical thinking
- It's up to me
Nonjudgmental or nondirective.
The teacher is told not to moralize,
lecture, direct, preach or intimidate. Teachers are told not
impose their opinions on the students. Everything
opinion rather than right or wrong, good or bad.
Personal disclosure. Students are required to reveal their
innermost feelings and attitudes, as well as intimate and even incriminating details about their family, through -
- detailed surveys and questionnaires
- encounter sessions
- "magic circle" discussions
- filling out incomplete sentences
Emotional attitudes. Students are required to
spend class time discussing emotions, feelings, and
attitudes. These lessons include -
- Questions about suicide and depression
- Emotional words evoking fear,
anger or sadness.
- Preoccupation with stress
Treating legal and illegal substances and medicines as though they are only marginally different.
- Putting aspirin and coffee in the
same list with pot and crack
- Teaching that "everybody uses some kinds of drugs"
- Discussing "positive" use of drugs
- Focusing on good and bad uses
(or abuse) of drugs rather than on
good and bad drugs
Role-playing. This is psychological manipulation and necessarily includes negative roles.
Children are sometimes even required to role-play a
negative character about drugs.
Anti-parent innuendoes. Many drug courses
drive psychological wedges between child and parent.
the child to look within himself for
and his own decision instead of
looking to parent, church, or the law.
Emphasis on "self-esteem" and "social skills." These are
psychological courses - not academic. Students need objective information that drugs are unhealthy plus moral direction that they are wrong. Spending class time teaching children to "feel
good" about themselves is a fraud, takes time away from academic work, and does not comply with the law.
Overemphasis on getting the student to be a cooperative member of the "group" or the school community. This encourages the child to be a go-
alonger to win the approval of his peers rather than sticking with moral law or his parents' instructions.
New Age religious practices in many courses are a violation of students' First Amendment religion rights. Practices and teachings associated with New
Age or Eastern mystical religions include -
- Progressive relaxation and meditation
- Guided imagery and visualization
- Centering and anchoring
- Consulting with a "wise man" or a "wise rabbit"
- Affirmations or mantras
What can you
do to replace
courses with courses
teaching that drugs
are wrong ?
What can you do to replace
nondirective drug courses with courses
teaching that drugs are wrong?
Ask your local public schools to show you the
pages of the curriculum where they teach that illegal
drugs are wrong. Be sure you see the teacher's
manual as well as the student materials. The law
gives you the right to see these materials.
Do not be distracted or misled by material which merely says that illegal drug use has harmful consequences, or by decision making exercises which
appear to encourage children to decide to say "no" to drugs, or by material which allegedly builds "self-esteem." Those teachings do not satisfy the law
which requires a clear message that drug use is wrong.
Drug Free Schools and Communities Act
Amendments of 1989
Excerpts from Public Law 101-226,
signed December 12, 1989
- No local educational agency shall be eligible
to receive funds or any other form of financial
assistance under any Federal program unless it
certifies to the State educational agency that it has
adopted and has implemented a program to prevent
the use of illicit drugs and alcohol by students or
employees that, at a minimum, includes -
- age-appropriate, developmentally based drug
and alcohol education and prevention programs
(which address the legal, social, and health
consequences of drug and alcohol use and which
provide information about effective techniques for
resisting peer pressure to use illicit drugs or alcohol)
for students in all grades of the schools operated or
served by the applicant, from early childhood level
through grade 12;
- conveying to students that the use of illicit
drugs and the unlawful possession and use of alcohol
is wrong and harmful;
- standards of conduct that are applicable
to students and employees in all the applicant's
schools and that clearly prohibit, at a minimum, the
unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit
drugs and alcohol by students and employees on
school premises or as part of any of its activities;
- a clear statement that sanctions (consistent
with local, State, and Federal law), up to and
including expulsion or termination of employment
and referral for prosecution, will be imposed on
students and employees who violate the standards of
conduct required by paragraph (3) and a description
of those sanctions....
- Each local educational agency that provides the
certification required by subsection (a) shall, upon
request, make available to the Secretary, the State
education agency, and to the public full information
about the elements of its program required by