Should drug testing students be allowed?

Abigail Swanigan

Every year students who participate in school activities have to fill out a form saying they will agree to take a drug test during the random drug testing periods of the school. Students HAVE to turn in a form before they are able to participate in the club or athletic activity. If the form is not turned in they are not allowed to participate in the activity.

While I think that it is a good way to make sure students are not using drugs and abusing them, I think it should not have to be mandatory for all school activities. Marshfield High School is beginning to conduct the drug testing and it has been the only talk from my peers. I do not think it is constitutional to drug test students and I also believe that it is an invasion of privacy. I do not think that drug testing students is effective in the case of stopping the use of drugs, so therefore there is no point in spending thousands of dollars on a non effective method that just exposes students to their peers.

According to Center on Addiction, a website on drug addiction, drug testing does allow for early detection and that means early intervention. It also increases the chances for a student to have a successful future and it gives students a reason to say no to peer pressure. But the ultimate question still stands: Does drug testing students make them stop using?

Students that get selected for testing often have other students “cheat” for them. They will ask non-users for their urine on the test and this causes them to pass with flying colors. So, it is not very effective for the people who just cheat on it making it to where they can keep using. Also alcohol and synthetic marijuana does not show up up on a test.

Drug testing is expensive for schools as well. The money used on buying all of the drug tests would be better off finding a better way to prevent the use of drugs. According to Prevention not Punishment, a website promoting drug use prevention, the test cost $10-$20 per test which ends up being around $10,000 dollars in the end. That is enough money to start a whole new club or program to stop the abuse.

Tests can also be considered discrimination for colored people. Also the extracurricular activities and athletics are pro-social activities that may be protective of substance use. When a positive drug test leads to suspension from the activities, the effects can be detrimental. So the student who took the test and was super social in their life now shut themselves away from people which can lead to depression and other problems.

So back to the main question, do you think that random drug testing should be allowed for all students?