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  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    View attachment 45703 The end of summer typically places a temporary halt on certain freedoms and privileges enjoyed by American teenagers, but the mere changing of the seasons shouldn’t curtail their privacy rights or civil liberties. Yet more and more high schools around the country are announcing plans to drug-test their students—even though such policies are expensive, ineffective, and make teens feel like prison inmates.

    Two schools recently drew media attention for joining the ranks of institutions that impose mandatory, random drug tests on certain students. Every other week, administrators at Crivitz High School in Crivitz, Wisconsin, will make five students—randomly chosen from a pool of kids who either have parking spaces or are involved in various extracurricular activities—give urine samples, which will then be sent off to a lab for examination.

    Schools generally aren’t allowed to drug-test the entire student body without probable cause—that would violate the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures. But in 2002, the Supreme Court ruled in Board of Education v. Earls that administrators can mandate drug-testing as a condition of involvement in after-school sports and clubs.

    In practice, this loophole permits schools to test a large majority of the student population. At Crivitz, for instance, 1,266 of the school’s 1,458 students are eligible to be tested for one reason or another.

    "Participating in extracurriculars…in public high schools is a privilege and it's not a right, as well as parking on our school parking lot," Crivitz Athletic Director Jeff Dorschner told wearegreenbay.com.

    Students are not allowed to refuse the test. Anyone who fails it will be suspended from sports and clubs, and undergo psychological counseling. Administrators have pledged not to expel students, or involve the police—and thank goodness for that.

    School officials are already over-inclined to sic the cops on kids who commit minor behavioral infractions; the wave of “zero tolerance” school disciplinary policies has made academic suspension the de facto punishment, even in cases where a student did little wrong (like allude to drug use in a diary) or even absolutely nothing wrong (like make up a story about killing a dinosaur).

    And students who are genuinely struggling with drug abuse will not be well served by time away from school, or time in jail.

    But even if students don’t receive formal punishments, randomly drug-testing them breeds resentment among kids—many of them, of course, have done nothing wrong—and may even discourage them from signing up for extracurricular activities in the first place.

    To understand why this is a bad thing, consider the Avon Local School District in Avon, Ohio, which is implementing a similar policy for students in grades 7 and up. Eligible students will be tested once per semester, and randomly throughout the year. The test will screen for “LSD, alcohol, marijuana, amphetamines, methadone, anabolic steroids, methaqualone, barbiturates, nicotine, benzodiazepines, opiates, cocaine and propoxyphene.” That’s right, nicotine—which isn’t even illegal for 18-year-olds in Ohio. View attachment 45704

    Students who either refuse to take the test or test positive have to skip 20 percent, 50 percent, or 100 percent of their athletic season. It’s not difficult to imagine some students embracing their inner libertarian and sitting out extracurricular activities instead of subjecting themselves to intrusive searches that certainly violate the spirit of the Fourth Amendment, if not the actual Bill of Rights.

    But encouraging students to become withdrawn is a bad drug abuse prevention technique, since extracurricular involvement decreases the likelihood of drug use. As the Drug Policy Alliance explained in a 2013 report that urged a New Jersey school district not to adopt random student drug testing:

    RSDT puts up a barrier to extracurricular activities we want our students to participate in. Research shows that students who participate in extracurricular activities are:

    • Less likely to develop substance abuse problems

    • Less likely to engage in other dangerous behaviors such as violent crime

    • More likely to stay in school, earn higher grades, and set and achieve more ambitious educational goals

    Given these issues, it should come as little surprise that reviews of school drug-testing programs turn up scant evidence that they are worth it. According to The Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham, several recent studies concluded that random drug tests had little to no long-term effect on drug use among students.

    One study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan did find evidence that RSTDs contributed to a moderate decrease in marijuana use among students. But the study also found increased use of other, more dangerous drugs in schools that had implemented drug testing. RTSD apparently turned them off of pot, and onto stronger stuff.

    “Until further research can clarify the apparent opposing associations, schools should approach SDT with caution,” the study concluded.

    Some supporters of drug testing might admit that the studies aren’t encouraging but nevertheless wonder what’s the harm in trying? Such thinking, however well intentioned, is part of a paternalistic pattern that strips students of their rights at every turn. College officials, especially, have proven all-too-willing to crack down on free speech and due process on the thinnest of pretexts.

    Students are frequently told that they must self-censor in order to avoid hurting other people’s feelings. When they break these absurd rules, they are hauled before university-sanctioned kangaroo courts that don’t grant them the presumption of innocence (let alone legal representation).

    But administrative neglect of students’ rights does not begin in college. It starts when school officials at any grade level decide that nebulous safety concerns are more important than the principles of a free society. Schools of America: Don’t teach kids to expect arbitrary institutional mistreatment and eschew after-school interaction. It’s just not worth it.




    By Robbie Soave - The Daily Beast/Aug. 23, 2015
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/08/23/why-drug-testing-students-is-un-american.html
    Art: 1-The Daily Beast; 2-Politicalcartoons
    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    Beenthere2Hippie
    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.

Comments

  1. 5-HT2A
    Let's set aside for a moment how disgusting it is to treat children like cows you keep in a pen surrounded by an electric fence.

    Between methadone, methaqualone, barbituates, and LSD you can tell this whole thing is a profit scheme. Let's break it down.

    Methadone is not something commonly used by kids, period. It is very powerful and there are drugs out there which can be titrated more easily without risking death. If you feel the need to forcibly determine whether a 9th grader in the chess club is abusing methadone, something is wrong with your priorities.

    Methaqualone, as good as I've read it is, was discontinued decades ago and oddly enough there is not even a black market for them. Almost no one anywhere is using this drug. Implementing these tests against a student body who don't know what the hell that stuff is is absurd and pointless. Kerching! $$$

    Same thing goes for barbiturates, as they are rarely prescribed, generally not available in most areas, and not really well known by minors, or even many adults. Kids are far more likely to take benzodiazepines.

    And as for LSD? Very few minors will use this drug, and if they do, again it is excreted from the body quickly and isn't toxic or addictive anyway.

    Indeed, the testing of those who use marijuana will inevitably push people to use harder drugs, such as alcohol, which again is excreted quickly and is unlikely to trigger a positive test. Funny how our drug testing policies reflect the profit needs of the pharmaceutical and alcohol industry, isn't it?
  2. Name goes here
    Not my kids. Not ever. I'm protective of my kids to a fault and my biggest fear isn't bullying or any nonsense they are pushing. I've already called out a teacher for being too inquisitive about her home life. I raise my kids, the government teaches information with their agenda. When they get home, I make sure the schools teachings and my beliefs line up.

    If there's a student who is obviously having problems in class, the first step is contacting the parents. Sometimes, kids get in trouble with drugs and do need help. I know my kids and how to deal with them. If God forbid one of them picked up my nasty drug habit, I will deal with it. That is not why I send my kids to school.

    It's sad I've had to teach my kids not to talk about home in school. I have a long rant that I'll spare you all but schools are just big brother shaping our kids into good little sheep. Not this alpha males kids.
  3. detoxin momma
    I have a friend with a 12 year old boy on the school foot ball team.

    she just called me bitching about having to get him a drug test.

    but,if you think about it,alot of us we're playing with atleast marijuana by that age.
    if a kid really wants to be on the team,i can see this being a good way to motivate them to not do drugs.

    in this case the parents are pot users.so they have to be double sure the kid doesn't get ahold of any.
    marijuanas illegal here.
    so if this kid tested positive,he wouldn't be able to play football,and his parents would atleast get a visit from a social worker.

    when I first heard this I was shocked,but after thinking it over,makes sense.

    I don't think its un-American.
    in this case its just pot that he could use.
    but,some familys are on meth around here.
    if a kid tested positive for meth,theyd lose him for sure.
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