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Student thoughts on war, church, drugs

On social and political issues, the nation's top high school achievers appear to be fairly conservative. Though President Reagan draws high marks in general for the job he has done, many students featured in the 1982-83 edition of ''Who's Who Among American High School Students'' question certain aspects of the President's policies, such as the level of defense spending.

''I think we're spending too much and being spread too thin,'' said Linda Tatsapough of Greensboro, N.C., in a phone interview. Most students favored continued arms-reduction efforts. In a demographic sampling of the student leaders featured in ''Who's Who'' a minority - 24 percent - said they thought nuclear war during their lifetime was inevitable.

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Most young men surveyed have registered for the draft or plan to. Some 45 percent of those queried - more young men than young women - said women should be included in any draft. ''If the men have to go, we might as well go, too,'' says Rhonda Hilvety of Macon, Ill. ''I think we should be doing our part.''

Some 90 percent have never tried drugs. Only one-third said they occasionally drink beer or hard liquor, though most queried by phone said alcohol is in common use among their classmates and is a far bigger problem these days than drugs. Most said there is considerable peer pressure to drink.

Well over half said they are active members of a church or synagogue and attend religious services at least weekly, and the vast majority say prayer should be allowed in the schools.

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