Should drug testing be allowed in schools?

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Teen boy on drugs

Contributed by Molly Smith

At the beginning of the year, Huffington Post shared a news story about Rockhurst High School in Missouri requiring all students, come August, to submit 60 strands of their hair for mandatory drug testing. The Jesuit preparatory is a private school so they are allowed to do this. However, our country’s public schools are not allowed to mandate drug testing due to “unreasonable search and seizure” under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Public schools are, of course, allowed to randomly drug test their athletes and students who participate in competitive extracurricular activities. I understand the reason for this, as many athletes and students in competitive activities may turn to performance-enhancing drugs to get an edge on the competition or to impress college recruiters.

However, I don’t think that schools should be allowed to drug test all students at random nor do I feel that drug testing should be mandatory. To me it seems like an invasion of personal rights and a punishment for all when in most cases it’s probably only a few actually at fault.

I do think the school staff/admin should be allowed to drug test a student if there is reasonable suspicion that the student is doing drugs or has them on him/her during school and on campus. Each school should have a very explicit set of guidelines for what constitutes the “reasonable suspicion,” however. There should also be a clear plan for how the drug testing should be handled, how the parents should be notified and the punishment for the “crime.”

Moms, would you want your child to attend a school where drug testing is mandatory, random or not allowed at all?

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