Should Students Be Randomly Drug Tested?

Some people think students should be randomly tested for drugs, but some of us disagree. Random drug testing can be harmful.

Suspicion

If students are drug tested, it is as if they are suspected of something they did not do. This can definitely backfire. Many students who do not use drugs will feel they may as well do it because they are suspected of it anyway. A drug-free life may not seem so appealing when they are forced to submit to drug tests.

Inference

If a school starts a policy to randomly drug test its students, kids will assume a large percentage of the student body uses drugs, even if this is not true. This, also, can backfire. If a kid believes most of his peers are using drugs, he will be more likely to try it himself.

Rights

Constitutional rights should extend to students. When it comes to drug testing without legitimate cause, a student’s constitutional rights are violated.

The laws of the land are designed to protect everybody. Simply because a person is a minor attending school, or wants to try out for a sports team at school, does not mean he should be expected to give up his rights or have his rights taken away.

Many courts have already determined that drug testing without cause amounts to unreasonable search and seizure. Students should have the right to personal privacy when there is no cause to suspect them of wrongdoing.

Drugs And Students

Many kids do use drugs, but that does not mean kids who do not should be penalized. Entirely different approaches should be taken toward students and drugs.

If teachers, coaches, or others who work with students have reason to believe a student is using drugs, they should confidentially discuss the issue with the student’s parents. Parents should be advised to address this issue to their family’s physician.

If parents and doctor agree, the student should be tested for drugs. If drug abuse is detected, they will then be able to decide on the course of action that is best for the student. Emphasis can be on helping kids who have drug problems, rather than suspecting every kid in the school of substance abuse.

Drug Testing Goes Too Far

Drug testing has gone too far. When it extends into schools, it has really gone too far. While drug testing without cause is bad enough for adults, it can lead to even more complications for kids.

For young people, a school should be a safe place. Their privacy and basic integrity should be respected. Random drug testing would take away these rights that young people should have and enjoy.

Parents should object to drug testing in their kids’ schools. If substance abuse is very common in their city, the problem should be addressed at the community level, not within the schools.

It is absolutely wrong to subject students to random drug testing. While it may help detect drug use in some students, it is harmful to everyone else.