Discrimination in the Military

Yes, the military does have sexual harassment and
discrimination against women in the nineties. “Firestone and
co-researcher Richard J. Hurns analyzed a 1988 DOD Survey of men and
women in the military and found that 51.8 % of men and 74.6% of women
reported either experiencing or knowing of sexual harassment. Among
the women surveyed, 70.1% had experienced “sexual talk or behavior at
the work place that created an offensive, hostile or intimidating
environment.” Among the men, 36.9% gave the same answer.”(1) The
percent of women being sexually harassed is much higher than the
percent of men being harassed. Even though it is not tolerated, it
still happens regardless of the consequences, even in the nineties.
While some women’s experiences have been similar to those of black
men, their integration into the military has also differed in several
ways. Because of our society’s fundamental belief that protecting the
home and going to war are a man’s work, men from minority groups have
often been accepted more readily in the military than the women. Women
have been viewed as outsiders in a male environment. Discrimination
and harassment occurs for women because we are entering an all male
dominated area. Some areas are still restricted because of it. For
example: serving in direct combat capacities such as armor, infantry,
and special forces-branches from which much of the senior leadership
is drawn. “In 1994, the annual Navy wide Personnel Survey included
questions on women’s role for the first time. Some 65 percent of
officers and almost 50 percent of enlisted respondents said they did
not think women were fully accepted in combat roles. While
approximately 80 percent said harassment was not tolerated at their
command, almost half of all respondents disagreed that everyone is
treated equally in promotions and advancements.”(2) Some of this is
bases on the presumed physical and psychological characteristics of
women which may interfere with their performances of some military
jobs. For example: the physical strength of women. People believe that
women are not strong enough to lift and carry heavy equipment or
wounded fellow soldiers and that we lack endurance to perform these
tasks over a lengthened period of time. Also, there is the idea that
women can not perform strenuous tasks quickly, like loading heavy
shells into a weapon. And combat is not for the weak and slow.
Although allowing women in combat remains a top priority, women are
now serving in virtually every other occupational capacity in all four
branches of the military. A large number of previously restricted
areas to women have been opened in the Army and Marine Corps, and the
Air Force has women training now for all previously closed career
fields. Even the Navy is improving, which is a shock on its own. Even
with increasing sexual harassment cases, the rising number of women
being recruited is not due to any idealistic vision of the right of
women to serve their country in uniform. One might say this trend is
driven by the need to recruit an increasingly intelligent,
well-educated, and fit military in the face of data that reflects the
shrinking amount of qualified male candidates. “By current estimates,
there are 191,399 women on active duty in all four branches of the US
Armed Forces, accounting for approximately 12.7 % of all active duty
Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Personnel. As of September 1995,
women accounted for 13.2 % of all officers and 12.6% of all enlisted
personnel. Approximately 16 percent of all active duty Air Force
Personnel (officers and enlisted) are women, followed by 13 percent of
the Army, 12 percent of the Navy, and about 4.6 percent of the
Marines.”(3) Sexual harassment is believed to be increasing, but one
must remember a lot of sexual harassment goes unreported. It is a
shame women are afraid to report cases for fear of being thrown out of
their job, or just plain lack of knowledge on where to go or what to
do. Women can get the feeling of not trusting anyone in the military
command easier than women for two reasons. One, 99 percent of
commanding ranks are taken by men, and two, men are more likely to
help men than women. A woman can not get help from a commanding
officer that’s a woman, because the commanding officer is probably in
a rut of her own. Women should join forces and overthrow the men in
charge. The US would see a dramatic difference in sexual harassment
cases reported. “A Pentagon Survey of 90,000 service members showed
that, overall, sexual harassment in the military is declining, but
still common, involving over half the women in the military. The
number of women reporting any type of sexual harassment in the
previous twelve months dropped from 64 percent in a 1988 survey of all
the services to 55 percent, according to the report. The unreleased
documents indicated that among the individual services, the Navy
improved the most over that period. For 1995, that number had dropped
to 53 percent. The Air Force, as in 1988, continued to show the lowest
overall percentage of harassment among women surveyed, dropping from
57 percent to 49 percent.”(4) The Navy has made a strong and
thoughtful effort towards the declining of sexual harassment since the
Tailhook scandal. In fact, all the services have. Beginning this year,
equal opportunity training is to be received by everyone. Everyone
should strive for not tolerating discrimination or sexual harassment.
Each person is valuable to the military, and what happens to one
affects many others. Here are some key task force recommendations:
Evaluate each service member’s commitment to equal opportunity and
document deviations in performance reports. Train leaders on their
roles and responsibilities for equal opportunity programs. Ensure the
chain of command remains an integral part of the processing and
resolution of complaints. Strongly encourage commanders to conduct
periodic equal opportunity assessments. Insist senior officials and
commanders post statements declaring their commitment to equal
opportunity. This shows that even though harassment and discrimination
still occur, it does not go unchallenged. People are waking up and
saying “Enough is enough.” After a certain amount of complaining,
anyone would say “Enough is enough”. What is ment by that is that it
takes a lot of cases and re-occurring problems for it to finally get
the notice it needs. “Basis trainees are learning that at all levels,
the word is getting out that discrimination and harassment have no
place in the military profession and will not be tolerated, Air Force
officials said. The recent focus on sexual harassment in other
military services has also raised attention in this area as well. “The
Air Force can not isolate itself from these social trends,” states the
pamphlet. “Despite commanders’ involvement and education programs,
people will occasionally behave inappropriately. It takes a strong
continuing commitment by everyone to minimize these behaviors and
their effects.”(5) Once men can get over their male ego-trips, they
will start to see the women in a new light. Men could actually
accomplish more working with women instead of against them. What an
amazing concept! Too bad men have not recognized it yet. Even with the
good news that sexual harassment is declining in the Navy, it still
happens by the thousands. Radios are constantly broadcasting that the
Pentagon had to stiffen regulations because so many women said they
were the victims of reprisals for filing complaints. There’s this
story that many believe is the cause of sexual harassment in the
military, especially the Navy. Sailors have always been known for
their bawdiness, but the officers were at least gentlemen. Then
Vietnam came. Being in south-east Asia and increasingly frustrated by
a losing war, a whole generation of naval officers began carousing in
the sleazy bars of Bangkok and the Philippines. The Vietnam vets-and
the exploitative sexual attitudes they developed in Asia-arrived home
in the 70’s just as women were beginning to move into the ranks. This
resulted in a declining of manner and morals with the arrival of
female sailors and officers. For the men, this has meant careers
wrecked by lewd indiscretions. And the Navy’s women have been forced
to learn how both to go along and to fight back-with very mixed
success. One has to wonder if we could go back in time, and erase
Vietnam, would this still have happened anyway.


Bibliography:
Bibliography
1.) Archives of Family Medicine. “Women Veteran’s Experiences with
Domestic Violence and with Sexual Harassment While in the Military.”
Vol.4. May 1995
2.) Capital Online. “Survey Finds Sexual Harassment in the Navy and
Other Services Declines”. July 3, 1996
3.) Donegan, Craig. “New Military Culture: do women, blacks, and
homosexuals get fair treatment?”. CQ Researcher. April 26, 1996
4.) Military Women Profile. “Military Women by the Numbers.”
September 30, 1995
5.) National Academy Press. “Recommendations for Research on the
Health of Military women.” September 1995
6.) Navy Times. “Are Women OK as Combatants? Not Really Says Navy
Survey.” September 4, 1995
7.) Vistica, Gregory L. “Anchors Aweigh.” Newsweek. February 5, 1996

Selective Attention

Kahneman and Treisman (1984, p.55) have succinctly described the main disagreement between early selection and late selection theories of attention: ‘The classic question of attention theory has always been whether attention controls the build-up of perceptual information, or merely selects among the responses associated with currently active percepts.’ Early selection theories hold that attention serves to select which one of a number of stimuli will be further semantically processed and stored in long term memory. On the other hand, more recent late selection theories maintain that selective attention operates after all stimuli are semantically processed. This essay briefly examines and discusses the main findings and criticisms that have caused the transition from early selection models to late selection models of attention. Apart from these two extreme positions, theories that combine aspects of both theories are also discussed.


The essential question which, if answered, would provide evidence on whether stimuli are semantically processed before or after selection is what people know about the unattended information. If the subject does not know the meaning of unattended information, this would mean that it has been discarded before it has been processed for meaning. One of the first approaches to this question was attempted by Cherry (1953, in Parkin, 1999) who carried out an experiment in which subjects were required hear two different messages simultaneously, one in each ear, but only pay attention to one of them. To make sure that subjects were not attending to the other message, they were asked to shadow the attended message, that is to recite aloud everything they heard. Subjects could report the physical characteristics of the voice in the unattended message, but not its meaning. Cherry concluded that selective attention completely overshadows the meaning of unattended stimuli. Broadbent’s (1958, in Eysenck & Keane, 1995) ‘filter’ model of attention was based on a similar experiment. Subjects were presented dichotically with pairs of digits and were instructed to shadow whichever message they preferred. A strong preference was shown for attending ear-by-ear. Broadbent theorised that stimuli are selected according to their physical attributes and unattended messages are not semantically processed and discarded. According to Broadbent, switching attention from one stimulus to another is also quite difficult.
These two previous experiments had numerous weaknesses. In Cherry’s experiment subjects were asked about information in non-shadowed messages after they had completed the shadowing phase. This information may have been perceived and processed, but forgotten later. In Broadbent’s experiment there was no particular meaning to be extracted from the pairs of digits presented, so there was no sufficient evidence to draw conclusions about semantic processing. Moreover, it was later made clear that it is possible to easily switch attention from one ear to another, when the meaning of the unattended message was relevant to the shadowed message.


Experiments by Grey and Wedderburn (1960, in Parkin, 1999) and Treisman (1964, in Parkin, 1999) demonstrated that subjects select which message to attend to by following the meaning of a sentence. This suggests that humans can select a stimulus according to its meaning not only its physical cues. This could directly provide evidence for a late-selection model. However, Treisman (1960, in Kahneman and Treisman, 1984) accounted for this finding with the ‘attenuator’ model, which is still an early selection theory. She proposed that the filter described by Broadbent is actually more flexible and the unattended message can be partly semantically processed. Treisman’s attenuation theory was a good alternative to the filter model, as it could explain the new findings. However, it has been criticised for lack of clarity and for being a half-measure. Since subjects’ attention appears to be directed according to the meaning of a sentence, one could also claim that they can actually fully process stimuli for meaning before selection.


In the area of visual attention, Johnston and Dark (1986, in Eysenck & Keane, 1995) presented evidence that unattended visual stimuli undergo little or no semantic processing. However, counter evidence comes from recent studies with subjects suffering from simultagnosia. Patients are unable to attend to more than one object at any given time, even when objects are close together. However, when an unattended word is semantically related to the attended word, patients can report both words (Caslett & Suffran, 1991, in Allport, 1993).


Experiments on which early-selection models have been based appear problematic. Many authors (e.g. Deutsch & Deutsch, 1963, in Eysenck, 1995; Parkin, 1999) have argued that the shadowing task is too demanding for the subjects to be able to process the unattended stimuli in a way equivalent to real world conditions. It should also be noted that theories for attention were developed on the basis of either auditory or visual experiments solely, although it was not evident that the same mechanisms are employed in all types of attention.


Following the findings by Gray and Wedderburn (1960, in Parkin, 1999), Deutsch and Deutsch (1963, in Eysenck & Keane, 1995) formed the first account of a late selection theory, proposing that all stimuli are fully analysed and attention merely selects the most important stimulus to respond to. However, it was difficult to provide evidence for this position, as an experiment by Treisman and Riley (1989, in Eysenck & Keane, 1995) showed that subjects detected much less target words in non-shadowed messages. More evidence for late selection came from studies on subliminal perception. Some studies have shown that an unnoticed aspect of a stimulus, can influence subjects’ behaviour (Parkin, 1999). This indicates that unattended features of stimuli can be semantically processed. However, there is still no evidence that unattended messages are fully analysed.


In the face of lack of evidence for the Deutsch and Deutsch theory, Johnston and Heinz (1978, in Parkin, 1999; 1978, in Eysenck & Keane, 1995) proposed a less rigid model in which selection is possible both before and after semantic processing of information. They assumed that there is a limited central capacity, which is carefully allocated to various tasks including reasoning, auditory attention, visual attention and other functions. Early selection was considered to consume fewer resources than late selection. Thus, when a task involves physical cues early selection should be preferred. However, there is evidence that dissimilar tasks, for example visual attention and auditory attention, interfere less with each other when performed simultaneously than more similar tasks do (e.g. Allport, 1972; Brooks, 1967, both in Parkin, 1999). Relevant evidence from neuropsychological studies (review by Allport, 1993) seems to suggest that rather separate mechanisms control different kinds of attentional tasks. The concept of a central capacity, therefore, appears ill defined. It is still possible, however, that we can process information semantically both before and after selection according to the task demands on the capacity of the processing system, which, according to Welford’s (1952,in Eysenck & Keane, 1995) well supported ‘bottleneck’ idea, is unable to make two decisions about the appropriate responses to two different stimuli at the same time.


The evidence and theories mentioned in this essay lead to the conclusion that humans can detect meaning in unattended stimuli. There is no evidence, however, that this semantic processing is as complete as the processing of attended stimuli. Nevertheless, it could also be said that this conclusion is a rough generalisation, as there is no clear indication that there is a unique attentional mechanism responsible for attending all kinds of stimuli. Visual attention, for example may be controlled by different mechanisms than auditory attention. There is still no theory that provides a clear and testable explanation for all the known evidence and localises attentional selection. The main reason for this difficulty is that it is almost impossible to devise an experiment that will localise selection without interfering with the subjects’ natural functioning.
REFERENCES
Allport, A. (1993). ‘Attention and Control: Have We Been Asking the Wrong Questions? A Critical Review of Twenty-Five Years’. In D.E. Meyer & S. Kornblum (Eds.), Attention and Performance (Vol. XIV). London: MIT Press.


Ellis, H.C. & Hunt, R.R. (1993). Fundamentals of cognitive psychology (5th ed). Brown & Benchmark. Madison
Eysenck, M.W. & Keane, M.T.(1995), Cognitive psychology : a student’s handbook (3rd ed.), Erlbaum, Hove
Kahneman, D. & Treisman, A.(1984). ‘Changing Views of Attention and Automaticity.In Parasuraman, R. & Davies, D.R. (Eds.). Varieties of attention. Academic P. Orlando
Kinchla, R.A.(1992).’Attention’. Annual Review of Psychology. 43: 711-42
Parkin, A.J.(1999).Essential Cognitive Psychology. Draft 23-3-99. University of Sussex.

Romeo And Juliet

Are there such things as true love and hatred? In the story Romeo and Juliet, written by William Shakespeare there is true love and hatred. Romeo, a Montague and Juliet, a Capulet are two star-crossed lovers who will always love each other. The hatred between the two families will be a problem for the couple to get together.

These two families the Montagues and the Capulets truly dislike each other for no true reason. For example at the beginning of the script Sampson, a Capulet says Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them; which is disgrace to them, if they bear it, (I, i, 44) to his Capulet friend in order to pick a fight with a Montague. In addition the feud continues between the families when Romeo kills Tybalt and also how the Capulets and Montagues almost started a brawl in front of the Prince. Again hatred was demonstrated by Lady Capulet when she says We will have vengeance to one in Mantua, shall give him such an unaccustomed dram that he shall soon keep Tybalt company, (III,v, 98) referring to Romeo. All this hatred led to Romeo and Juliets death. Also the Prince said, And I, for winking at your discords too have lost a brace of kinsmen. All are punished, (V, iii, 318) saying all are punished for everyone lost a family member.

Love at first site, which is how Romeo and Juliet got together. At a party where Romeo first laid eyes upon Juliet he said, Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I neer saw true beauty till this night, (I, v, 57). What Romeo said was love from his heart, which is real love. As the night went on they arranged to meet the next day and get married. Marriage demonstrates how these two kids are in love because marriage is the final step to show you love and want to be with them forever. This marriage doesn’t last long when Romeo is given misleading information and kills himself to be with Juliet in Heaven. Juliet wakes up from the potion and sees that Romeo lies dead she says, O happy dagger! This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die, (V, iii, 182) taking her life away to be with Romeo. Her actions were done by true love and by thinking, not by a reaction. When these two died it finally brought the Montagues and Capulets together in peace.

The two lovers Romeo and Juliet were doomed. Their families brought them to their death. Their familys difference could not bring Romeo or Juliet apart from being together. It took Romeo and Juliets death for each other before their families could bring peace among the families. At the end love overcame hatred but with a great loss. Love will always prevail over hatred if the love is true.

Generation X, Less Happy, Why?

Generation X, Less Happy, Why?
Nowadays divorce is so common it’s hard for people to try hard, fight
through their problems and make a marriage last when there’s such an easy way
out, divorce. Marriages of earlier generations were sometimes happier, because
divorce wasn’t the immediate anecdote to family or marital problems. I come to
this conclusion from hearing about my moms childhood.

My grandparents have stayed together to this day regardless of their
problems which made my moms childhood happier. One incident which illuminates
my moms childhood being happier is when my grandpa had to take care of the kids
because my grandmother was in the hospital. It was great for my mom to have her
own father take care of them instead of being left with an aunt or a close
family friend.

My grandmother was told she’d be in the hospital for a couple of weeks ,
it ended up being three. This was the first time she was separated from her
children, and the first time my grandpa, the businessman, had to take care of
the house and kids. All the household duties changed and it was hectic, my
grandpa had to take on the mother role. He had to make breakfast for the kids,
pack their lunches, go grocery shopping, help with homework and take the kids to
school. My mom who was only nine was the only girl so they made her make the
beds and clear the table. Those three weeks were hell, for all of them. For my
grandpa it was difficult to take care of everything and work over forty hours a
week. For the children it was hard to be separated from mom. All my
grandmother did was worry the whole time about the kids, the house and my
grandpa probably having a nervous breakdown.

It was very difficult, but this incident brought all of them closer, in
a way. My grandmother missed her family as much as they missed her. My mom and
uncles also became a lot closer to my grandfather. Overall this experience
showed my grandparents how much they loved, missed, and needed each other but it
was better when they handled things together and then they knew they made the
right decision by staying together. This experience, in a way, showed them what
it would be like if they were divorced or separated, lonely, sad, and very
unpleasant. Maybe divorce wouldn’t have been as bad as they thought but I’m
glad they thought that way for my moms sake and my own. It may be naive but in
the end it opened their eyes and my mom thinks her childhood was happier because
of it, and I believe her.

In conclusion, earlier generations may have thought divorce was a crime
and may not have known as much as we do but if they were happier like that maybe
we should have never learned.


Adoption journal

In 1991 a study was conducted using 916 respondents to find attitudes towards transracial adoption. . 71% of those surveyed believed that race should not be a factor in who should be allowed to adopt a child. However, those respondents in a highest age category, such as 64 or older, were 63% less likely to approve of transracial adoption, compared to the younger age category. African-American women were 84% less likely than African-American men to approve of transracial adoption. Caucasian men were 72% less likely to approve. The importance and practice to considering transracial adoptions, and having transracial populations is discussed. Areas of consideration areas follows: Background, History and Controversy, Previous Studies of Attitudes towards transracial adoption, Purpose and Rationale, Methods, Procedures, Results, Bivariate Anaylsis (a study using charts and tables), Multiple Logistic Regression Analysis (all categories are considered which may also include two or more groups), Discussion (the results of the studies), and the outcome of all the areas of consideration.

Adopting children of another race raises many questions because of the background of the child. Adopting a child of another race is of special interest, and should be carefully considered. Many questions regarding the background of minority children need to be answered before following through with an interracial adoption. For instance, Should minority-group children be adopted by parents of another race? Can the parents provide the racial and ethnic identity that children need to cope with racism? Are cultural experiences and racial identity important to the well being of a child? Are these children better off than they would be if left to live in the foster-care or institutional system? Does placing the child with the same race discriminate against the child? Will these children experience any long term disadvantages if adopted outside their race. As the study shows, many questions should be answered before considering a transracial adoption.

In 1972 the National Association of the Black Social Workers opposed adoptions of another race. This issue expanded efforts among adoption practitioners and policymakers to bring about more same-race adoptions. Then, in the 1980s, efforts increased by transracial adoption advocates to remove race and ethnicity as considerations. Results of experiential studies have varied and are often surrounded by limitations.

Previous studies show that people in the United States are divided evenly between those who approve of transracial adoptions and those who do not. These findings have been consistent in samples using people that were racially mixed. The studies also show that different Countries have mixed results when the studies are done. Mexican-American respondents with higher incomes were more likely to anticipate identity conflicts when adopting children from another race. Age had a significant influence in Canada especially in older than 65 years of age. This age group was more likely to strongly disagree with transracial adoption than younger persons in Canada. In another study (country not given), sex, age, education, income, and occupation were not an issue.
Results of this study from 916 respondents provide a practical view of the attitudes towards transracial adoption. There are several assumptions that exist in this area and more studies need to be done with different age groups and from different countries as well. These public studies are especially important since the development of public policies towards transracial adoption tends to be influenced by public opinion.


Bibliography:

Beethoven4

Keep your eyes on him; some day he will give the world something to talk aboutWolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Orga 27). Beethoven was considered the greatest composer who ever lived, but all the truths lie deep inside his music. Beethovens symphonies were extraordinary. His innovative style was unheard of throughout the world during his time. There are three major symphonies that take beyond the Immortal Beloved referring to Beethoven, to his grave. Well-written and magnificent in the ears of every person who appreciated Beethovens works of art. Symphonies numbers 3, 5, and 9 were probably the best symphonies ever composed by a human being. Beethovens technique was unique in creating slow to fast tempos during the beginning of every piece. Each of his pieces had a meaning behind it. The mood of the music will tell it all just by listening to the joyous harmony each instrument played and the excitement whenever the tempo moved to a faster beat.
Symphony number three in B-flat major, Op.55 titled Eroica was then the largest symphony at the time, and the first great symphony of the 19th century. In 1798, General Bernadotte, the French ambassador to Austria, suggested to Beethoven that he might write a symphony in honor of Napoleon. So Beethoven agreed to write the symphony for the great commander. But on May 18th, 1804, Napoleon crowned himself Emperor, and upon hearing the news Beethoven tore the title page in half, screaming that Napoleon would become a greater tyrant than anyone! (Orga 85). When the symphony was finally published, it was listed as a Heroic symphony, composed to celebrate the memory of fallen soldiers.The Eroica is important because it was Beethoven’s first truly Romantic composition. Symphony No.3 uses a wide variety of tonality and the use of themes and motifs. The Eroica is almost twice as long as any earlier symphony. The performing instruments had been enlarged by just one instrument, a third horn. The Eroica is the first symphony to mix the traditionally minuet of scherzo movement into the large dramatic work. It has an exposition in which the theme is gradually assembled, beginning with a terse bass line and eventually incorporating a broad melody; a development which comprises a fugato on the first four notes of the bass line(Orga 89).

Symphony number five in C minor, Op.67 is Beethovens most popular symphony heard everywhere. The Fate symphony has it is referred to begins with a theme of a struggle and ends with a glorious victory. The fifth symphony was first performed at a concert on December 22, 1808, in which Beethoven also offered the premieres of the fourth piano concerto, the sixth symphony, two movements of the Mass in C, and the Choral fantasy, and a piano improvisation by Beethoven. The sixth symphony was listed as number five that night, but there was no big confusion because the audience wasnt paying attention. The fifth symphony explodes the music world in every way except the length of the piece. The fifth is a model of compression, packing a wealth of memorable events into a much shorter work(Orga 112). Beethovens original intent was that the scherzo and trio both be played twice before going on to the transitional section to the finale.
Symphony number nine in D minor, Op.125, the Choral symphony is the outstanding piece accompanied with vocal chorus. Beethoven began concentrated work on the piece only in 1822. It occupied him throughout 1823, and he completed it in February 1824. The first performance took place at the Krntnertor Theater in Vienna on May 7, 1824. The deaf composer stood on stage beating time and turning the pages of his score, but the real conducting was done by Michael Umlauf. The first American performance was given on May 20, 1846 by the New York Philharmonic under George Loder. Its performance can never be an ordinary event, just another concert, it is something special because the feeling you get inside when you hear it for the first time. The work of Friedrich von Schiller to set An die Freude should be much of the credit of the ninth symphony, but Beethovens ability to put into music; its an art song, which is lovely poetry put into music. By 1823, Beethoven was not yet sure whether the finale would be vocal or instrumental. Once the symphony was finished, a performance had to be organized. Beethoven saved the premiere for the city that had been his home for the past thirty-one years. At the end of the premiere, Beethoven was still hunched over towards the orchestra, so he was gently turned around so that he might see the applause he could not hear. The D turns out to be the answer on which the whole orchestra agrees in the great fortissimo summit of that first crescendo, but the tense anticipation of that note is a personal, marvelous, and utterly characteristic touch(Orga 155).The ninth symphony is my favorite symphony just because the music is so heavenly. It seems in the beginning of the piece brings a person from darkness to light.
Beethoven, I believe, was ahead of his time. To me, he is the greatest composer of all time. His music is not just sounds of music played together in harmony, but a way of life. The music he created for the world is not just to listen to it, but grab on to the emotion he was setting up. Beethovens unordinary style cannot never be copied by any composer or music artist. Today, when we hear music of any kind we can only thank a certain person, and that person should be Ludwig van Beethoven.


Bibliography:
Works Cited
Orga, Ates. The illustrated Lives of the Great Composers.
Omnibus Press, New York 1983.

The life of a star

The Life of a Star
One night while little Jimmy was out camping with his father, he asked his father how a star is made? And his father said there are high-mass stars, intermediate-mass stars, and low-mass stars. The life cycles of stars follow three general patterns each associated with a range of initial mass. Much like human beings stars have a life cycle, they go threw birth, evolution, and death. And little Jimmy said how is that possible?
First the star must be born. Many astronomers believe that a star is formed when large compression waves traveling threw gas clouds create dense knots of gas is the cloud. The gravity of these knots then pules the other gas molecules. As the knot grows larger and larger the gravity starts attracting more and more gas molecules. Eventually, the knot coalesces into a growing sphere of compressed gas that reaches internal temperatures of a few million degrees Celsius. At this point the gases in the knot’s interior become so hot that their atomic nuclei begin fusing, creating large amounts of nuclear energy and forming a new star. Pressure from the radiation of new stars in turn causes more, higher-density zones to form in the gas cloud, which initiates the birth of more stars.

Next the evolution and main sequence of a star, it’s going threw puberty. In its earliest stage, a typical star is large and emits infrared light. Within a million years, the gravitational attraction of the star’s material for itself cases the star to shrink to the present size of the sun. The added pressure caused by this collapse in size raises the star’s internal temperature high enough to trigger nuclear reactions in the core. The main sequence stars fall along the diagonal line that goes from the upper left to the lower right on the H-R diagram. During its main-sequence phase, a star gradually exhausts its hydrogen supply.
The next stage of a star’s evolution involves dramatic stages of expansion and contraction the star approaches the end of its life cycle. After the star has used all of its hydrogen in the core, the core begins to shrink, converting hydrogen into helium in ever-larger shells around the inner core. The star’s core shrinks because the outward pressure of heat generated by the nuclear reactions no longer balances the inward gravitational attraction of the stars mass for itself. Although the core of a star gradually shrinks as it exhausts its hydrogen supply, the star itself begins expanding. It resorts to burning the hydrogen in a shell around its helium core, which inflates the outer layers of its atmosphere. Eventually, the star expands into a red giant, possibly attaining a diameter from 10 to 1,000 times the diameter of the sun. The shrinking core increases the star’s internal pressure. The shrinking core increases the star’s internal pressure. The increase in pressure makes the star’s temperature to increase again until it is hot enough to trigger nuclear reactions between previously inert helium nuclei present in the star. At this point, the star’s outer atmosphere begins to contract. When a low to medium mass star exhausts the nuclear fuel in its core, it collapses under the gravitational pressure of its own weight into an extremely compact, dense star known as a white dwarf. As a High Mass star dies it blows off more than half of its outer layer into space as planetary nebula-gas and dust that may provide material for new planets in other new solar systems. After it enters the white dwarf stage it will still shine but slowly dim as it uses up all of its last resources.
In conclusion little Jimmy’s father said now do you see that a star goes threw birth, evolution, and death? And little Jimmy said that yea I under stand now dad thank you. They then went to their tents and lived haply ever after knowing how a star’s life cycle works.

Medical marijuana use

The legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes has become an increasingly controversial topic, with many different issues on which people have many different opinions. There is opposition to the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes because it has the potential to be used incorrectly, however it is also considered that there is the potential for marijuana to be used in relieving the suffering of many seriously ill patients. Marijuana has been used by people for thousands of years to provide relief from many different serious medical problems. There are many doctors who currently support the effectiveness of using marijuana as treatment for various medical conditions. The many people who are suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis, and AIDS have found that marijuana can be a very effective pain and symptom reliever. The legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes is viewed by its opposers as one of the worst things that we could do. Their reasons are that they feel that marijuana should not be legalized for medical use because it is an illegal substance and until that is changed, prescribing it is against the law. “Attorney General Janet Reno announced that physicians in any state who prescribe the drug could lose the privilege of writing prescriptions, be excluded from medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, and even be prosecuted for a federal crime” (Kassier 1). Government officials such as Janet Reno are not the only ones to object to the legalization of marijuana. Many parents groups like Mothers Against Drunk Drivers object to the legalization of marijuana for medical uses. Their objections come from a reasonable concern that there has been an increase in the use of marijuana by youth. Their concern is expanded since the marijuana of today is much more potent than the marijuana of a few decades ago. The potential for these teens to obtain the drug would increase. Also, the Federal Health and Drug enforcement officials feel that by legalizing marijuana, they would be sending the wrong message to young people (“Your Health” 1). Strong evidence that shows that regular use of marijuana for long periods of time could cause severe lung damage (“Your Health” 3). If the use of marijuana could damage a patient’s lungs, then the risk could outweigh the benefit. Marijuana smoke can be twice as toxic as tobacco smoke to a human lung. The strongest point that many make opposing the legalization of marijuana is that there just is no clear evidence that smoking marijuana can help an individual who is ill (“Marijuana for the Sick” 2). Countless amounts of research has been done but both sides have countered each other with facts and studies. What are the benefits and what are the clear cut negatives?
The concept of using marijuana for medical use is nothing new. Marijuana is one of the oldest drugs known to man, the use of it has been documented as far back as 2700 B.C. in a Chinese manuscript. The Chinese would injest or inhale the Marijuana and feel pain relief for headaches and small aches and pains (“Marijuana” 1). The Chinese spread the concept over time, and while it never began a popular drug in most other societies, it still existed and was a common pain reliever. In 1839, a respected member of the Royal Academy of Science, Dr. W. B. O’Shaugnessy, was one of the first in the medical profession, who presented positive facts dealing with marijuana and medicine (History in Brief 3). His work helped open up the medical world to marijuna’s medical usees. The drug itself was not used as a popular recreational drug at the time and for this reason few saw a problem with using it for medical purposes. From 1840 to 1900, more than one hundred articles by American and European medical journals were published that showed the therapeutic uses of marijuana (Bakalar 2). Marijuana was recommended to stimulate appetites, and relax muscles, so if marijuana was effective in treating those ailments during this time period. Its defenders point out that the drug was praised by the patients and doctors alike. In 1988, Judge Francis Young, an examiner on administrative issues for the Drug Enforcement Agency, recommended that marijuana be reclassified for medical use, because the “current acceptance” of marijuana is present if a “respectable minority” of doctors support it. (“A Doctor’s Report” 1). The same Journal of the American Medical Association article, pointed out that even though the medical history of marijuana is five thousand years old, it has almost all been forgotten.
Marijuana has already been legalized for medical use by both California and Arizona. In order to be passed, these laws required a majority vote by the public and by Congress that favored the legalization of marijuana. In 1991, eighty percent of the San Francisco voters approved of legalizing marijuana, and seventy-seven percent of Santa Cruz voters also agreed (“History of Medical Marijuana” 1). Since these laws were passed, there is proof of support for the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes. California and Arizona may be the only states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, but they are not the only states that have considered the legalization of medicinal marijuana. “Massachusetts, had previously passed laws that permitted their citizens to use marijuana for medical purposes under some circumstances” (“Reefer Madness” 2). Many states have passed laws that lessen the prosecution of those doctors who prescribe marijuana (“Federal Foolishness and Marijuana” 2). There have also been many polls showing that the public favors the use of marijuana for medical purposes (“Reefer Madness” 2). With all of this support for legalizing marijuana, it is only a matter of time before the prosecution of doctors for prescribing marijuana and patients for using marijuana as medicine ceases.
Another powerful supporting factor for the legalization of marijuana is the endorsement of physicians. During a random survey of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, one thousand thirty-five members responded with surprising results (“A Doctor’s Report” 1). Almost half of the doctors said that they would prescribe marijuana if it were legal, and forty-four percent of them said that they had already recommended it to a patient (“A Doctor’s Report” 1). If there are doctors who are recommending marijuana, even at the risk of prosecution, it is obvious that they strongly believe that it can be very useful in the treatment of their patients. In addition, almost two thirds of the doctors also agreed that marijuana was an effective anti-emetic (“A Doctor’s Report” 1). This is important because of the life-threatening dehydration that can accompany emesis, which is usually known as vomiting. Doctors are allowed to prescribe narcotics for pain relief, such as morphine a!
nd meperdine, which have been known to cause death during overdose, yet they are not allowed to prescribe marijuana as a medicine, even though marijuana has never been known to kill anyone (“Federal Foolishness…” 2).
Scientists have discovered that the reason that marijuana is so effective in treating many of the symptoms of the terminally ill is because of a chemical called THC, which is the main active ingredient in marijuana. Even though science has found a way to make a synthetic THC, marketed as Marinol (“Lost in the Weed” 1), it is extremely expensive, and it does seem to cause higher levels of depression and anxiety (“Lost in the Weed” 1). Other side effects of the synthetic THC are extreme dizziness and unsteady gait (“Your Health” 3). These side effects alone may be difficult to deal with, but many of these patients are already dealing with harmful side effects from the medicines they are taking for the treatment of their illness. They should not have to take a pill that is supposed to relieve them of side effects that causes additional side effects. Another negative aspect of Marinol that is experienced by patients and documented by doctors is that the synthetic THC, and!
the THC from marijuana react differently in the body. There is also “a convincing body of research, some of it now two decades old, shows that smoked marijuana suppresses nausea better than Marinol pills and with fewer side effects.” (“Your Health” 3). Also, many patients are combatting nausea and vomiting, and it can be difficult for them to keep the expensive Marinol pill down (“Medical Marijuana Debate Moving Toward Closure” 3). If terminally ill patients have tried many different treatments, which have not been successful, and find that smoking marijuana helps them with their symptoms, with fewer side effects, and less expensively, then the patients should legally be able to have the option to make that choice.
Cancer patients have found marijuana to be very effective in treating the side effects of chemotherapy. In an article in Time, “Marijuana: Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire”, cancer patient Jo Daly, has described her experience with chemotherapy as a “nuclear implosion” of nausea. She went on to discuss feeling a burning pain under the nails of her fingers and toes. After she had tried many different alternatives to relieve her pain, she tried marijuana which seemed to be the only drug effective in relieving her pain. Jo Daly is not the only one to find marijuana effective in relieving the discomforts of chemotherapy. During the late seventies, and mid-eighties, six states performed research on how well marijuana operated on combatting chemotherapy related nausea and vomiting (“Medical use of Marijuana” 2). Their studies concluded that marijuana an extremely effective way to deal with the side effects of chemotherapy (“Medical use of Marijuana” 2). “Prevention and con!
trol of nausea and vomiting is paramount in the treatment of cancer patients” (“Information for Physicians” 1). The reason that nausea and vomiting needs to be controlled is that, “These can result in serious metabolic derangements, nutritional depletion, deterioration of a patient’s physical and mental status, withdrawal from potentially useful and curative antineoplastic treatment, and degeneration of self-care and functional ability.” (“Information for Physicians” 1). For cancer patients it is very important to control their nausea and vomiting and marijuana seems to be able to accomplish this. It seems reasonable to allow patients the option and make medical marijuana available for their use.
Another disease that marijuana seems to be useful in pain relief is multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis is a painful central nervous disease for which there is no known cure. The most common complaint of multiple sclerosis patients is the pain of powerful muscle spasms, vertigo, and double vision, all of which can make life nearly unbearable (“A Daughters Pain” 1). There are some patients who say that marijuana can help in relieving them of these symptoms (“A Daughters Pain” 1). Even though there are existing medications offered to treat multiple sclerosis, many choose marijuana to relieve them of their suffering (“A Daughters Pain” 1). The reason for this is that other medications often result in severe side effects, that marijuana does not seem to have (“A Daughters Pain” 1). There is no documentation of this because there have been no controlled clinical trials that have compared marijuana with existing legal drugs (“Your Health” 3). There is proof, however, in!
the fact that many patients choose to purchase marijuana to relieve their pain at any cost. Some patients are even willing to go to jail to get their marijuana, because for them, it is the only thing that proves to be effective (“Federal Foolishness and Marijuana” 1).
Marijuana has also been found useful for treating patients with AIDS. It seems that marijuana can positively help AIDS patients in several ways. Some ways that marijuana can help is by relieving stress and depression, eliminating nausea, reducing pain, and fighting the AIDS wasting syndrome by enhancing the appetite (“Stop Using Patients as Pawns!!!” 1). Even though there are many treatments, AIDS patients who are in the final stages of the disease still suffer greatly. The legal options for these AIDS patients are the human growth hormone, another type of hormone called Megace, and the synthetic THC pill, Marinol (“Your Health” 3). These are the only FDA approved drugs for treating AIDS wasting syndrome, but some patients say that these are not adequate substitutes for marijuana (“Your Health” 3). It was said by one patient on Marinol that, “All it did was make me groggy without enhancing my appetite.”, but marijuana has been found to increase the appetites of AIDS p!
atients. “AIDS activists and the doctors who treat the disease report that marijuana is also useful for suppressing the nausea that’s a side effect of several anti AIDS drugs” (“Your Health” 3). Another vital concern when dealing with an AIDS patients is their immune system. However, when studying HIV-positive men who used marijuana, it was determined that the marijuana did not seem to accelerate the deterioration of their immune systems (“Your Health” 4). This is another important consideration in treating this deadly disease.
There are many different viewpoints on the use of marijuana as a medicine. These different points of view result in many important issues regarding the use of an illegal drug for medicinal use. Even though there are many people who are against legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, there are just as many who feel that if used correctly, marijuana can be an essential part of treating serious diseases. For centuries marijuana has been used to help those who are in need of effective pain relief . There are many doctors and patients, who feel that the usefulness and effectiveness of marijuana is being overlooked. As a result, many doctors are recommending the use of marijuana, regardless of the possible legal issues. Many patients, who are suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis, and AIDS, have discovered that marijuana is a drug that provides them with much needed relief and they are using marijuana regardless of the consequences. In basic terms “Marijuana may hav!
e long term adverse effects and its use may presage serious addictions, but neither long-term side effects nor addictions is a relevant issue in such patients” (“Federal Foolishness and Marijuana” 1) While advocating the legalization of marijuana as a recreational drug would be detrimental to society, its effectiveness for medicinal uses is clear and needs to be seriously considered.
Bibliography:
Abrams, Donald I., M.D., Child, Carrol C., R.N., M.S., Mitchell, Thomas F., M.P.H., “Marijuana, the AIDS Wasting Syndrome, and the U.S. Government”, The New England Journal Of Medicine, 7 Sept. 1995: Vol.333 No 10: pp. 670-671
Adell, Dean, M.D., “The History of Medical Marijuana”, Newsgroups, On-line, Yahoo, 5 Jan. 1998
Annas, George J., “Refer Madness — The Federal Response to California’s Medical Marijuana Law”, The New England Journal Of Medicine, 7 Aug. 1997: Vol.337 No 6
Bakalar, James B., M.D., Grinspoon, Lester, M.D., “Marijuana as Medicine: A Plea for Reconsideration”, Journal of the American Medical Association, 21 June 1995: Vol.273 No 23
Brookhiser, Richard, “Lost in the Weed”, U.S. News & World Report, 13 Jan. 1997:
Gorman, Mary, R.N., “Medicinal Use of Marijuana”, American Journal of Nursing, Nov. 1997: Vol.97 No 11
Gorodetzky, Charles, “Marijuana”, Grolier Interactive Encyclopedia, CD-ROM, 1997
Gwynne, Peter, “Medical Marijuana Debate Moving Toward Closure” , The Scientist, 31 Mar.
1997: Vol.11 No 7
Gwynne, Peter, “History in Brief: Trials of Marijuana’s Medical Potential Languish As Government Just Says No ” , The Scientist, 27 Nov. 1995: Vol.9 No 23: pp1-7
Harris, Bob., “Medical Marijuana Research”, 2, Jan. 94, The University of Massachusetts at Amherst, On-line, Yahoo, 5 Feb. 1998
“Information for Physicians”, Cancernet: The National Cancer Institute’s PDQ System, On-line, Yahoo, 5 Jan. 1998: Cancernet 1
Kassirer, Jerome P., M.D., “Federal Foolishness and Marijuana”, The New England Journal Of Medicine, 30 Jan. 1997: Vol.336 No 5
Lacayo, Richard, “Marijuana: Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire”, Time, 28 Oct. 1996: Vol.1486 No 20
“Marijuana for the Sick”, The New York Times, 30 Dec. 1996:
Rosenfield, Jim., “A Doctor’s Report”, Newsgroups, On-line, Yahoo, 10, Jan. 1998
Tagami, Ty, “A Daughter’s Pain”, The Los Angeles Times, 1 Jan. 1995:
“Stop Using Patients as Pawns!!!”, Institute of Medical Marijuana and the International Medical
Marijuana Movement, On-line, Yahoo, 5, Jan. 1998
“Your Health”, Consumer Reports, May 1997:

Existence of god

In David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, Cleanthes’ argument from design is successful in supporting the idea that the universe has an ordered arrangement and pattern. This argument is not sound in its ability to prove the existence of the Christian God. However, Cleanthes does present a sound case for order in the universe, which can be seen as an aspect of one’s faith in a Supreme Creator.

In the argument from design, Cleanthes is attempting to discover and defend the basic foundations of religion by using the same methods applied in scientific thought. Paramount in the process of scientific thought is reliance on previous observation and experience of certain causes resulting in specific effects. If a scientist experiences a million times that when chemical A is directly exposed to fire, an enormous explosion takes place, it is logical that the scientist is wholly expecting the same effect the next time the experiment is run. It appears through this line of reasoning that the argument from design relies heavily on the relative probability of an event occurring over a specified period of time. This idea corresponds to human interpretation of the Universe in that perception without the aid of experience is not sufficient in the realization process of a particular phenomenon. If a human were left only to their own perceptions of the universe without prior experiences, they would be able to make several value judgements, but without experience with these judgements it would be impossible to determine which were genuine. (p.61, par.2) Even if one believes that truth is relative, they must agree that there is an experience that has occurred in the past causing this person to label a particular outcome as being true or false. If I have no prior experience or knowledge of the qualities of a tree, I would be left to hypothesize on these qualities only from what I could perceive by looking at the tree. I may come up with several theories, one of which may happen to be the correct one, but with no prior experience on which to base these guesses, I would have no way of knowing which theory was correct.
Philo objects to the use of only human intelligence as the benchmark by which to measure the order of the universe. Nature is also an example of a great wealth of order and arrangement that coexists with the human mind in the universe. He believes that by comparing the order that is present in the universe, being the whole, to the order that appears in the parts, being the human mind and nature, one makes too presumptuous an inference concerning the characteristics of both the whole and its parts. (p. 65) However, it is logical to presume that the qualities of any whole are reflected, at least in part, in the workings of the whole. The use of the watch to analyze the design of the universe originates in the belief that the universe would dictate the qualities of the watch, and would therefore bestow upon the watch characteristics similar to its own. It is indeed arbitrary to select human intelligence as the means by which to analyze whatever order may exist in the universe, but it seems as logical an example as any. Surely, nature, the cosmos, and other examples of order exist in the universe, but human intelligence is by far the most know entity to humans of any of these examples. It should appear logical to analyze such a monumental task such as the arrangement of the universe using the most know example of design that human beings can comprehend.
The next important aspect in Clenthes’ argument is the implementation of the theory of cause and effect as it applies in the case of perceiving means to an end and presuming that effects follow from a previous, related cause. As mentioned above in regards to the scientist, events that have similar effects are assumed to have similar causes. Cleanthes argues that the universe is “nothing but one great machine, subdivided into an infinite number of lesser machines.” (p.59, par.4) From human experience with machines, it is believed to be true that they involve a complex system of design and order through working parts. Through the rules of analogy, Cleanthes comes to the following argument and subsequent conclusion: Since both machines and the human mind share the tendency toward order and producing an end from previous, ordered means, the two most likely arise from a similar cause. Cleanthes therefore concludes that the creator of nature is similar to the creator of the mind of man. (p.60, par.1) In other words, because machines and the universe share common characteristics and tendencies, it can be inferred from experience that they share similar characteristics and come from similar causes. It’s reasonable to conclude that Cleanthes comprehends the folly in believing that discovering the natures of the universe and proving beyond the shadow of a doubt the existence of a Supreme Being will end successfully. He is a man searching for answers through the avenue most familiar and reasonable to himself. Believing in mystery as opposed to measurable experience is not a logical or viable solution to him.

On the issue of comparing two events from experience, Philo contends that the origin of the universe was a singular event of which man has no experience, and therefore cannot compare it to anything such as a watch or a house. (p. 66) This premise is true, but what needs to be taken into account when studying the argument from design is that Cleanthes is referring to merely a quality he believes the universe to hold, namely design, not the very nature of its origin. To presume to understand from experience an event so beyond the scope of logic granted to the human mind is absurd, but to ruminate on the nature of such a creation is far more realistic. As Philo has said, humans are presented with examples of design in the universe everyday. It is a natural human inclination to postulate on phenomena beyond their comprehension through tangible examples such as nature, the human mind, and the cosmos.

There is a scientific theory that appears to, in part, concur with Cleanthes’ argument from design in assessing the nature of the universe. This theory is known as the Anthropic Principle. There are variations within this principle, but the basic foundation is this: New worlds are created with every particle interaction, and with all these worlds (or universes), it is not unexpected that at least one is ideally suited for life. Henceforth, the universe came into existence with the “capability and tendency to evolve life, conscious and even self-conscious creatures.” This principle holds in common with the argument from design that, inherent in the nature of the universe is a certain order that fosters the perfect environment for intelligent life. Certainly, we cannot know to what extent similar life forms exist beyond our own solar system, or even our own universe for that matter. However, we do know that within our own solar system, earth is the only planet perfectly suited, physically, for the generation of a sustainable life form. Perhaps this is another example of examining the part in an attempt to rationalize the whole, but we must use examples of things that we know to be true to analyze things we know nothing about.
It is true that many of those who believe some variation of the Anthropic Principle deem it logical to presume from its premises that a pre-existing God that we cannot observe is responsible for the universe and the order within. This is certainly an unsound conclusion, but the idea of believing something that we cannot observe is what faith is all about. This is not an attempt to avoid responsibility in supporting an argument that falls short in proving the existence of God. On the contrary, one must conclude that logical reasoning can only take the human mind as far as an experience of the subject matter will allow. Surely man would love to know how and why he arrived here and who is responsible, but without experience of this phenomenon, he will never know for sure. Cleanthes’ argument from design is an attempt by a man to come to grips with an incomprehensible event through human faculties of both science and religious faith. He may have fallen short of proving the existence of a Christian God, if that was even his original intent, but Cleanthes’ does present a very intelligent and persuasive argument in favor of a universe based on order and design.


Bibliography:

High School Drug Abuse: What Do You Do?

According to a study conducted by the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, among the graduating class of 1997, 54.3 percent of students had used an illicit drug by the time they reached their senior year of high school: a dramatic increase from the once 40.7 percent in 1992. The study also reported an increase among high school seniors from 27.1 percent in 1992 to 42.4 percent in 1997, that had used an illicit drug in that past year. There was also an increase from 14.4 percent (1992) to 26.2 percent (1997) of use in the past month. And due to the addictive nature of drugs, many of these young students will continue using them throughout their life.

Drug abuse has become an increasing problem in the nation’s high schools today. The question is, how is it prevented? Drug testing has been a successful way of controlling this, and the problems associated with it. It is true though, that the most effective way begins in the home, when children are young and just learning about drugs and their hazardous health risks. Other programs deal with educating students about the effects and dangers that will effect a person for the rest of their life. These programs also teach about the legal issues involved. But what do you do for high school students, after it is too late to carry out these programs. And often the programs have been carried out, but students ignored the warning and council, and end up breaking the law. What do you do then? Many schools are implementing drug testing programs, which have been proven to successfully decrease the amount of drug abuse that occurs in schools.

High School drug testing has become a very controversial topic in many communities across the nation. Many students and parents are arguing that drug testing is a violation of the rights of a US citizen as designated in the 4th amendment of the Constitution. But, in the Supreme Court case of Vernonia School District v. Wayne Acton, it was ruled constitutional. They also argue that it is unethical, and sending the wrong message to students. One parent said, as stated in an article in the Seattle Times, Kids who experiment and are caught, they’re going to be banned from extracurricular activities. And their choice is probably going to be to party more. They won’t have the other outlets that are an alternative to drugs. First, for the programs that have been used in schools, it has been common for a third offense to be necessary before completely banning the student from extracurricular activities. But, if a student who participates in those activities, is caught using drugs, then it obviously wasn’t an alternative to drug use. In addition to that, most communities have programs for teenagers to participate in to keep them away from those types of things, and even help them quit.

Other arguments are over legal issues. In the 4th amendment to the Constitution it states the Federal Government shall not violate the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures. In the Vernonia case, the measure of constitutionality depended upon the reasonableness of the search; high school drug testing among student athletes was considered reasonable. One could still argue that by having an athletic policy that requires refraining from drug use could be unconstitutional as well. But where the law prohibits the use of illicit drugs by anyone, and when you take into consideration the rights of others that would be affected, having such a policy is the only way to protect the students who participate.

Those school districts that have already implemented a drug testing program have found that it works. Burlington-Edison High School of Skagit County, Washington, implemented a drug testing program very similar to that of the Vernonia School District. And after the first year of drug testing, about 25 students had been caught. Since that first year, the overall drug use has decreased, calling for a reduction in drug testing.

The system that these schools used was very professional and kept confidential to protect the identities of the students from outside sources. The system calls for random drug tests to be administered as often as needed. Procedures start by having the student fill out a specimen control form that must be filled out to keep track of the test sample. This also monitors all medications (if any) that that particular student may be taking, to ensure that the students sample isnt falsely determined positive. When the sample is taken, there are many controls that are instigated to ensure that it has not been tampered with. These would include such precautions as having a faculty member monitor the student while the sample is being taken (this would be done using situations that you would find yourself in while using a public restroom), coloring the toilet water, making sure the toilet isnt flushed, and even sealing off the faucets of a sink. The samples are then sent to a lab where they will be tested for content. The results are then returned to the administration, which will enforce the proper penalties for positive test results. Those who test positive, are first given a warning and will be tested again at a later time. When tested again, if the student tests positive a second time, they will be withdrawn from any current activities, and be referred to a help group, or other professional coping methods, to help the student harness his/her addictions. If the same student tests positive a third time, they will be banned from participation in extracurricular activities.

This testing process has been proven to reduce drug abuse in schools. By implementing these programs in schools throughout the nation, the problems caused by drug abuse can be diminished.


Social Issues Essays