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Wave the Magic Wand

Did you know that there is a special alcohol wand that has been invented which can detect whether a person has been drinking alcohol? Less personal than a urine test and less invasive than a blood test, and quicker than a breathalyzer, and less expensive than all of the above – it sounds like a pretty good idea overall.

Well, that depends. There’s a group in the USA called the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) who for many years have made it their task to be the “voice” of personal liberty – to defend the rights of citizens across the nation whenever it seems that someone’s rights are being violated by any public or sometimes even private agency. This is mostly done via lawsuits.

The ACLU has stepped forward to try and block the use of the alcohol wand when it comes to using it in high schools. Now think about this: one of the main reasons that the drinking age was set at 21 and not left at 18 as it used to be was an effort to keep the alcohol out of the high schools. It hasn’t worked as well as had been hoped, but it has probably helped to some degree in that there will not be any students who are allowed to have alcohol on a high school campus, whereas if the age was 18, some would have that legal right.

So the Jackson County school trustees put forth the idea of using alcohol wands to detect whether students have liquor on their breath or not. There was a discussion, and both sides were presented. But according to the news article, it seems that the entire idea was dropped when the ACLU said that it would be unconstitutional.

One has to think about the framers of our Constitution and what was intended and then compare it to such a conclusion. Could it really be that those men who for the most part grew up in, and were the heads of, homes that believed strongly in the strict obedience of children – could it really be that they would have agreed that checking a student’s breath to see whether he was obeying the rules, and whether he was prepared to study hard that day – would be un-Constitutional?

It seems to be quite a stretch to the imagination. Likely they would have supported any reasonable measure that would have helped their sons and daughters to be better educated.

Follow up from the Jackson Hole Daily: ”School trustees approved first reading of a policy Wednesday allowing students to be tested with an alcohol-sensing “wand” when they attend school-sponsored events.

The newest version of the long-debated policy excluded use of the wands during normal school hours, though that had been considered.

The proposed policy passed 4-2, with trustees Kate Mead and Paul D’Amours opposed. Trustees Robbie Farrow, Janine Bay Teske, Cherie Hawley and Carlen Carney voted in support. A final reading to adopt the policy is set for Sept. 12.”

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