The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

July 2, 2013

Get united

— The recent student drug testing proposal stirred up a lot of passion in Raleigh County.

It was rejected in the board of education meeting last week by a 3-2 vote.

It’s no secret that drug abuse is a terribly rampant problem in our region.

Although both sides of this issue were adamant in their beliefs, our hope is that all sides will come together and work out a solution for where to go from here.

We encourage both sides to discuss this important issue that impacts our children and our communities.

Do we need more education about the dangers of drug abuse?

Do we need more counselors in our schools?

More education and counselors may be part of the picture, but perhaps there’s much more than that.

All board members acknowledge a problem. But those opposed to testing had the following issues: Worries about confidentiality. Legalities. Paying for it.

All questions that are worth further investigation.

Those in favor no doubt believe that reaching our children at a young age is important in staving off potential abuse.

This is not an easy task, but one that must be debated.

There are no easy answers to ending the epidemic of drug abuse. The problem has increased dramatically.

Everything needs to be on the table. All potential solutions need to be explored.

Because we cannot sit back and allow this scourge to continue to rob our communities. And kill our people.

Let us pledge to move in a united direction towards ending drug abuse, an issue that we can all agree, needs to cease.