Recently, our neighbor’s 11-year-old boy and one of his friends got into trouble. They had some drawings in their personal notebooks of weapons. The notebook was confiscated, the St. Paul police were called, and the students taken to the police station and questioned. Not until hours later were the parents of the boys called. A hearing with school authorities was held a couple of weeks later, and it was decided that neither boy would be allowed to return to the school.

A couple of days ago, an article in the Star Tribune (“A first for schools …,” Jan. 17) focused on random drug testing that will be done in Duluth schools. Our question is this: Do we have to give up all of our personal freedoms to go to school, which is mandated by the state? Is there any evidence that the “police state” we have created in our schools is making them better at their mission to educate? We need to think about how we have responded to Sandy Hook and Columbine, and consider the messages we are sending our children. I know of no evidence that these measures will prevent or have prevented similar circumstances, and they come at a huge cost to our children, their families and their futures.

Jim and Sehoya Cotner, St. Paul