Tuesday, September 19, 2006

House approves school searches, but the fight continues

Thanks for taking action! SSDP needs your help now more than ever.


I would to thank all of you who took the time this week to write and call your your members of Congress in opposition to the so-called “Student and Teacher Safety Act of 2006.” Unfortunately, despite an overwhelming response from SSDP supporters and our allies, the bill passed the House of Representatives last night by a voice vote.

While we are disappointed that the House passed such a reckless bill, we are grateful to the thousands of you who took action to defeat it. In the past four days, SSDP supporters generated thousands of letters and phone calls to Congress. We were confident that the bill would have been defeated if a recorded vote were taken. Unfortunately, no member of Congress called for a roll call vote after the voice vote by just 25 or so representatives in attendance.

Fortunately, this bill has not yet become law. To do so, the Senate would still have to pass a companion bill before the end of the legislative session, and we will be working hard to ensure that this does not happen. Will you please consider making a financial contribution to help SSDP’s legislative efforts today? Please visit http://www.ssdp.org/donate if you are able to give anything at all.

Despite being unable to stop the House from passing this bill, SSDP supporters responded to our call to action in unprecedented fashion. SSDP supporters sent more than 3,600 letters to Congress in opposition to this bill. That's more than have taken action on any single piece of legislation in our organization's history. SSDP chapters across the country responded to our call to action by setting up phone banks on their campuses, sending action alerts to their listserves, and spreading our alerts through cyberspace using Facebook and MySpace.

With only four days of lead-time before the vote, we were able to mobilize supporters like never before. I hope you will consider visiting http://www.ssdp.org/donate to make a contribution to SSDP today to ensure that we are able to respond even more effectively in the future.

While House members were not forced to go on record on the important issue of students rights’ and privacy last night, many members did take noble stances against the bill. Representatives George Miller (D-CA), Danny Davis (D-IL), and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) all gave speeches on the House floor opposing HR 5295. Rep. Woolsey made a passionate speech, vowing, "We will stop any new program that would label all youth as guilty!" In a letter to an SSDP supporter, Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) wrote:

“As a former teacher and principal, as well as a member of the Democratic Task Force on Education, I believe it is crucial to make schools as safe as possible for our children. However, I believe this can be done without invading the rights of our students.”

In addition to support from these courageous members of Congress, the National PTA, the American Federation of Teachers, the American Association of School Administrators, and the National School Boards Association all issued statements opposing this legislation.

SSDP will continue to keep you informed if a companion bill comes before the Senate. I hope you will consider making a contribution to SSDP today so that we can continue to fight back against harmful attacks on students’ rights in the future.

Please visit http://www.ssdp.org/donate today if you can afford any contribution – large or small.

Thank you for your support.


Kris Krane
Executive Director
Students for Sensible Drug Policy

P.S. Please befriend SSDP on MySpace and put us in your top 8 friends. Our profile is at http://www.myspace.com/ssdp

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1 comment:

Ali G said...


you might be interested to know that the Advisroy council on the mnisuse of Drugs (the ACMD - a body of experts appointed by the Government to advise ministers on policy) has just produced a major new report titled 'Pathways to problems'. in this they say that 'drug testing in schools, and drug sniffer dogs in schools 'should not be used' - and the basis that they are ineffective and counterproductive to pupil school relations (US evidence is cited)

the Transform blog post with links etc is here: http://transform-drugs.blogspot.com/2006/09/acmd-new-report-calls-for-review-of.html

keep up the good work, Steve.

hope this is useful.