Superintendent right in ousting drug program - Daily Trojan - Opinions
Changed:6:17 AM on Friday, February 25, 2005
Superintendent right in ousting drug program
From the editors
Published: Friday, February 25, 2005
California Superintendent of Public Schools Jack O'Connell, said Tuesday that all California schools should drop an anti-drug program after it was revealed that the program was teaching false information.
Narconon Drug Prevention and Education program, which is affiliated with the Church of Scientology, was used in at least 39 schools in California, including some in Los Angeles.
Some teachers reported that the program's instructors taught students that drugs produce a colored ooze as they leave the body, and that drugs can "ruin creativity and dull senses" - all of which is inaccurate.
A report also found that the program taught many beliefs held by the Church of Scientology.
The move to abolish this anti-drug campaign is clearly a good one. While it is important that children learn the harmful effects of drugs, educators can easily accomplish this without lying to children.
The state needs to employ the services of an organization that does not have religious ties or any other self-serving agenda.
Unfortunately, the program is not an isolated incident.
The Washington Post reported in December that some federally funded programs were teaching children false information about sex education, including outrageous claims such as touching a person's genitals "can result in pregnancy."
Kids are smarter than this. The moment they realize they have been told lies, they will disregard anything else about sex that is taught to them.
In a time of AIDS, this is dangerous.
Of all places, public schools are the last place children should be receiving misleading, or in these cases, outright false information.
Educating children about health issues is one of enormous importance, and anyone who tries to teach children lies has no place in the education system.
It's a good thing that the state of California realizes this.
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