Drug testing in schools

Jordan Patton, Staff Writer

  Drug testing is already widespread in independent boarding schools. There is no doubt that for teachers and parents drug testing seems to prevent and deal with drug use among kids.

  Some schools, hospitals, or places of employment conduct drug testing. There as a number of ways this can be done, including: pre- employment testing, random testing, and follow up testing. Following models established in the workplace, some schools have initiated random drug testing. During random testing schools select one or more individuals from the student body to undergo drug testing. Random drug testing can only be conducted among students who participate in competitive extracurricular activities.

  Schools that have adopted random student drug testing are hoping to decrease drug abuse among students. Schools hope that these drug tests will serve as a warning and scare kids into not giving in into peer pressure. The drug tests can help identify kids who have just started using drugs so that the interventions can occur early. Drug abuse not only interferes with a student’s ability to learn, but it can also disrupt the teaching environment, affecting other students as well.

  The primary purpose of these random drug tests is not to punish students who use drugs but to prevent drug abuse and to help the students. For the students that are diagnosed with addiction, a school administrator can refer them to effective drug treatment program. Drug use among high school students has dropped significantly since 2001. 8th, 10th, and 12th graders showed that drug use had declined by 24% since 2001. Almost 50% of 12th graders say that they’ve used drugs at least once and 18% say they’ve used drugs in the same month.

   In June 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed random drug tests for all middle and high school students.