Drug Testing In Schools

Drug Testing Programs in Schools are measures that teachers and administrators of a school put into place in order to discourage drug use by students. School districts saw widespread implementation of comprehensive Drug and Alcohol policies starting in the mid-1980s. Although small town school districts have generally been slower to adopt these measures, teenage drug use has not spared rural and suburban schools either.

There are many pros and cons in the school drug testing programs. Some say that the main purpose of school drug testing is not to catch kids using drugs, but to prevent them from ever using drugs, illegal or not. Once teenagers are using drugs it is much harder for them to break their addiction. If by testing the athletes or other school leaders, we can get them to say no to drugs, it will be easier for other kids to say no.

Reasons for Student Drug Testing:

· Testing gives students a chance to say “No to Drugs” when approached to use drugs.

· Student drug testing is important because children become addicted more rapidly than adults and their recovery is less likely.

· Students have a right to safe and drug-free learning environments. School administrators need reasonable tools to stop drug users and drug dealers from ruining school for everyone.

· Testing gives parents an opportunity for intervention and treatment. Parents have the right to send their kids to drug-free schools. The thought of sending their kids to a school where drugs are rampant scares parents. Drug testing helps keep our kids safe.

· The intent of this program is not to punish students. The goal is for the drug user to straighten his or her life out. The schools use drug testing as a tool to deter drug use and help students to get drug education and/or counseling. The results are not turned over to law enforcement.The Supreme Court ruled in 1995 (in Vernonia v. Acton) that schools could randomly test student athletes who are not suspected of drug use.

The Court also stated that as school athletes routinely face mandatory physicals and other similar invasions of privacy, they have lower expectations of privacy than the average student. The Court specified that its decision should not be seen as a justification for further expansion of drug testing programs. In 2002 (the Board of Education of Independent School District No. 92 of Pottawatomie County v. Earls) it was ruled in Supreme Court that all students who participate in voluntary activities, like cheerleading, band, or debate, could be subjected to random tests as well.

It’s not a trust issue it’s a health and safety issue. We are talking about kids here. Schools that have drug-testing programs makes atmosphere become more positive. In addition, drug test results are used for counseling purposes and are not turned over to law enforcement.