Drug Testing Policy Should End


©The Talon News | Christopher Piel

The new drug testing policy has created controversy. (Christopher Piel/The Talon News)

Christopher Piel, Editor-in-Chief

A new random drug testing policy has been implemented, making any student who participates in extracurricular activities or parks on campus susceptible to drug testing. The policy will consist of a group students being selected randomly, approximately once or twice a month for a urine drug test. If a student tests positive for any number of substances, their parents will be notified, they will have a meeting with their coach, and they will have to attend a mandatory drug counseling session at their own expense. If they continue to fail the tests, punishments gradually become more harsh.

The random trug testing is expensive, unnecessary, and a violation of students’ rights to privacy; it should be removed from school policy.

Drug testing even just a handful of students is very expensive, and it produces few results of equal value. This year is not the first time this policy has been implemented, and it is unclear exactly why it has returned. Drug testing will once again prove to be more of a hassle than any kind of a solution. In fact, it is creating a solution for a problem that does not exist. Drugs are not running rampant through the streets of Argyle and causing mass amounts of harm. If this policy did not exist, the issue of drugs in the school would be on the back-burners and for good reason. Administration should not be punishing students for activities outside of school.

This policy is an overreach by the school in an attempt to micromanage the lives of every student in the high school; most, if not all, students fall under the scope of people that can be tested. Schools should not have the power to control a student 24 hours a day, seven days a week just because they want to. Students have rights to privacy for the many hours a day that they are not at the school, and this test violates that idea. By administering random drug tests, students’ bodies are now open to being searched to determine what they may or may not have done off of school property, on their own time. Whether or not this test would generate lots of positive tests is not the concern. The concern should be on how much control a school is allowed to have over its students during the four years they attend high school.

Although there is legal precedent for drug testing students who participate in extracurricular activities, not every legal expert agrees with the decision. For many, a search of the body requires a greater burden of proof than other kinds of searches on school campuses. Also, there is no legal precedent for schools testing students who only park on the parking lot. The policy is simply too close to an illegal search, and it will not solve any problems, especially considering its expenses. The administration should take steps to remove this policy and end random drug testing.