Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Random drug testing

Should school districts have random drug testing?
As noted in a Courier Times editorial this morning, Central Bucks has asked their parents if such a policy should be implemented. Unfortunately not that many parents bothered to respond to the district's survey. While I applaud CB for asking before implementing, I believe random drug testing forces our school districts to act as parents rather than as educators.

If a student exhibits questionable behavior, I can understand giving school districts greater latitude to administer a drug test. But the idea of randomly selecting little Johnny for drug testing without establishing probable cause sounds a bit too Draconian to me. There is a difference between responsible supervision of our students and random invasion of their privacy.

Please take a moment to complete the Reader Survey over in the right column, and then add your comments to this post. I’m sure this topic will come up for discussion during the new school year and I would like to hear what you have to say about it.


levittowner said...

As someone who works in a lab...there *are* legitimate drugs/foods that cause a false positive with these drug tests. Ideally, positive drug tests are verified by Gas Chromatography.

Having written that, I too think that to randomly test students is crossing the line. Don't we already have methods in place for low cost (or even free) drug testing of children by their parents? Leave the testing to the parents.

Parents need to raise and monitor their children. It is just lazy parenting when we start depending on the school to take over parenting duties.

I must be living in jersey said...

Right on, Levittowner! Our teachers should be focusing on educating our students, not getting them to wiz on litmus paper. Better parenting is the solution to many of our problems (drugs, lower test scores, etc.). Stop putting the responsibility on the district. Start acting like parents.

Anonymous said...

It seems un-American. How can we expect our students to learn to protect their constitutional rights against unlawful search and seizure when there very own bodies may be invaded randomly by a governing body?

Anonymous said...

What purpose would the school be using this information and also would teachers be subject to the same testing?

I think it is a parent's responsibility to drug test their child if they are so inclined, the educators should educate.


It is unfair to expect the students to be held to different standards then teachers.

Anonymous said...

How about the staff??? Random drug testing of students would be a definite violation of their rights, if you test the students then you also need to test the staff (like the union will let that happen).

Parents need to take responsibility for testing their own children if they suspect a problem and handle it appreciatly.

Where do we draw the line?

TFR1984 said...

How about random drug testing for school board members?

Anonymous said...

I know 1 board member who took a puff at a Grateful Dead concert (didn’t inhale), one board member who had 3 beers at a Phillies game and another board member who was a little heavy on the cough medicine. I would not worry, but maybe we should test.

Anonymous said...

I most definitely think that the staff should be tested. I also feel that those who are in constant contact with our students should undergo mandatory drug testing, not random. For instance the bus drivers, hall monitors, administration, teachers, coaches, custodians, etc.

take-your-pick said...

I'm really surprised the survey is as close as is. There are many negatives to random drug testing. First of all, who is going to pay for it. We are nickel and diming every educational expense and we are considering random drug testing. Mr. O'Connor, how much will this cost and will Flowers Mills pay for a drug test ? The last time my urine was tested during my physical, I saw a charge of over $100 from Quest Labs. So how much will it cost to test one person for drugs ? In addition, there will be huge problems when you randomly start picking people. What happens if you test the kid with long hair and not another kid ? What happens if you test a football player and not a soccer player ? What happens if you test a non-athlete and not a football player ?