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September 19, 1996 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-19

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The Michigan Daily -Thursday, September 19, 1996"- 5A

testing for
drug use
t Washington Post
WASHINGTON - The sign taped
to the front window of the Home Depot
in suburban Alexandria, Va., delivers a
warding to job-seekers. "We test all
applicants for illegal drugs," the plac-
ard reads in bold orange letters. "If you
use drugs, don't bother to apply."
Home Depot tests every one of its
more than 90,000 employees nation-
*de for drug use - from its CEO
down to the clerk who helps customers
select nails and lumber - before they
are hired or promoted. Prospective
employees who test positive for illegal
substances are turned away; employees
who test positive are fired.
Ten years ago, that kind of systemat-
ic testing was virtually unheard-of in
the private sector. Today, experts say, it
the norm.
The number of major U.S. corpora-
tions that use drug testing has risen 277
percent since widespread testing began
in 1987, according to a nationwide sur-
vey. Most of the boom occurred from
1988 to 1993, as federal regulations
mandated testing for a growing list of
professions, but the ranks of employees
being tested continue to grow.
Drug-testing experts estimate that
one-third of all new U.S. hires will be
eeried this year, more than ever
"fore. If on-the-job screening is
included, as many as 30 million U.S.
workers are subject to testing annually.
And with public concern growing
about" rising illegal drug use among
young people, testing is likely to
become even more common.
"The number of people being tested
has exponentially increased," said Eric
Oreenberg, director of management
udies for the American Management
Association, which represents 9,000
companies that employ 25 percent of
the U.S. work force and has been study-
ing oo-the-job drug testing since 1987.
"What was once very, very rare has
become routine. It's now a normal cor-
porate procedure."
Federal regulations mandate testing
of about 8.5 million workers, including
many who work for government con-
actors or in jobs where safety is an
Many corporate officials say
required drug testing helps them attract
better applicants and cuts down on
workplace accidents, workers compen-
sation claims and sick days.
Ninety-eight percent of Fortune 200
companies use drug tests to screen
potential employees.
govt. reports
child abuse
sing in U.S.
Washington Post
- WASHINGTON -The federal gov-
ernment yesterday reported an alarm-

ing increase in the incidence of child
abuse and neglect in this country, rely-
ing on a comprehensive study designed
to go beyond the number of officially
reported cases in measuring one of the
nation's most severe social problems.
The study, released ,by the
'partment of Health and Human
rvices, indicated that the number of
child ause and neglect cases rose from
an estimated 1.4 million cases in 1986
to an estimated 2.8 million cases in
1993. Over the same period, the study
estimated that the number of children
who were seriously injured as a result
of maltreatment climbed from 143,000
to nearly 570,000.
But as the incidence of abuse and
neglect rose dramatically, the number
cases investigated by state agencies
remained about the same, according to
the National Incidence Study of Child
Abuse and Neglect. As a result, the pro-
portion of cases that were investigated
declined from 44 percent in 1986 to 28
percent in 1993.
The numbers offer a stark reminder of
the scope of a problem that experts say
has risen as a result of poverty and drug
W among young families with chil-
n. It is an issue that has gained noto-
riety across the country with the deaths
of children at the hands of their parents.
And as the problem has increased,
many state and local child-protection
agencies have become mired in serious
problems of poor management: nearly

Perry takes personal
responsibility for
inattention in Gulf


Burned up AP PHOTO
A group of rioters uses a bumt-out car to block a street in the small town of Facatativa, Colombia, about 18 miles from
Bogota, yesterday. The residents were protesting a sharp recent rise in electricity rates.
City acued of targeting
Hispanics with zoning rl

The Washington Post
Secretary William Perry took personal
responsibility yesterday for the leader-
ship failures that left a U.S. military
housing complex in Saudi Arabia vul-
nerable to terrorist attack in June.
In emotional testimony before the
House and Senate, Perry acknowledged
neglecting to issue firm instructions for
protecting forces there, tolerating
unclear lines of command and lacking
focus in budgeting for measures to
safeguard troops.
Defending the four-star military offi-
cers in the line of command between
him and the housing complex in
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, where 19 U.S.
airmen died from a truck-bomb explo-
sion, Perry praised Gen. John
Shalikashvili, chair of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff; and Gen. J.H. Binford Peay,
commander of U.S. operations in the
Middle East, as superb soldiers and
strong leaders.
"To whatever extent they're responsi-
ble for this tragedy, then so am 1, for I
supported them for their positions, and
I still do," Perry said, his voice quaver-
ing. "I will not seek to 'delegate the
responsibility for this tragedy on any of
my military commanders. ... To the
extent this tragedy resulted in the fail-
ure of leadership, that responsibility is
mine and mine alone."
The secretary spoke from a hand-
written text an aide said Perry penned at
home Tuesday night. The mea culpa
appeared to mute some criticism by
House and Senate panels gathered to
review the findings, released this week,
of a Pentagdn task force that faulted the
entire command structure for paying
insufficient attention to terrorist threats

in Saudi Arabia.
Perry gave no indication he intends
to resign over the bombing, and no law-
maker suggested yesterday he should.
Nonetheless, some members took Perry
to task for not moving earlier to adopt
the kind of organizational and funding
changes he announced this week to bet-
ter protect U.S. forces against terrorist
"Our past history includes terrorist
attacks against U.S. military forces sta-
tioned in Europe and in- the Middle
East, said Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-
S.C.) chair of the Armed Services
Committee. "Average Americans would
think that we had learned something:
from these incidents about protecting
our forces and progressed beyond the
point at which we find ourselves today."
Several House members also voiced
concern that the three-star Air Force
officer now charged with ,determining,
whether any disciplinary action is war-
ranted lacks sufficient authority to rec-
ommend punishment against higher-
ranking commanders or senior Defense
Department civilians.
Perry sought to assure members the
judicial inquiry "could reach out in any
direction-up, down or sideways." But
Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) suggested the
House National Security Committee,,-
conduct its own probe into culpability.
And Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.)
took particular exception to Perry's
defense of Peay, insisting the head of.
the U.S. Central Command be held
accountable for never questioning the
proximity of a perimeter fence to the
apartment building whose face was torn
away by the bomb blast. The truck-
bomb was positioned just outside the
fence in a public parking lot.

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) - Like the
Slavic, Lithuanian and Armenian immi-
grants before them, many Hispanic
families arriving in Waukegan double
up on living arrangements until they get
on their feet. A sister lives in the base-
ment with her kids, or Grandma stays
home to baby sit while the parents
work. Upstairs rooms are rented out to
help make ends meet.
"Overcrowding!" the city of
Waukegan declared.

"Five cars in the driveway, cots in the
basement, how are you going to get
them out in a fire?" Alderman
Lawrence TenPas said.
"There's been horrendous neighbor-
hood deterioration," said Newton Finn,
a lawyer and Baptist minister.
The solution, as the city saw it, was
to outlaw extended-family living
arrangements beyond parents, children
and two additional relatives.
But the U.S. Justice Department con-

tends that the rule was enacted to limit
the number of Hispanics living in the
city and that the ordinance has been
more strictly enforced against minori-
"City officials repeatedly have
expressed their animosity toward the
new Hispanic residents of Waukegan
and declared that they intended to pre-
vent Hispanics from 'taking over;" the
Justice Department said in a complaint
filed against the city last month.








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