More schools test for drugs

Discussion in 'Drug Testing' started by Lunar Loops, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. Lunar Loops

    Lunar Loops Driftwood Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Ahh yes, the good old Bush administration is at it again. Get them while they're still young. Oh yes, there's some great quotes in here. This from Information liberation.com:
    More schools test for drugs

    awww.informationliberation.com_space.gif
    The number of schools testing students for drug use is rising as legal barriers to testing have fallen, funding for it has jumped and schools have begun to expand the categories of students who can be screened.

    Since the Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that random testing of student athletes and others in competitive extracurricular activities did not violate the students' privacy rights, the Bush administration has made testing middle- and high-school students a priority.

    In the 2005-06 school year, 373 public secondary schools got federal money for testing, up from 79 schools two years ago, U.S. Department of Education records show. The government has not tracked the rise of locally funded programs as closely, but the White House estimates that an additional 225 schools have them.

    President Bush has asked Congress to increase grant money for testing by 45% next year, to $15 million.

    The number of public secondary schools with testing programs remains a tiny percentage of the 28,000 such schools nationwide. Many districts have been reluctant to impose drug testing, fearing they could face challenges in state courts. Several states' constitutions include privacy rights that go beyond what federal courts have granted, says Graham Boyd, director of the ACLU's Drug Law Reform Project in Santa Cruz, Calif.

    However, the rise in testing suggests that such programs are "taking off," says David Evans of the Drug-Free Schools Coalition in New Jersey. Schools in that state recently decided to randomly test athletes in state tournaments for about 80 substances, including stimulants and steroids. "This happened with workplace drug testing," Evans says. "It started slowly and then grew."

    It's unclear how many students are testing positive for drugs. The results are secret, and schools are not required to report them to the U.S. government. The results also may not be given to police or used to punish students other than to remove them from extracurricular activities. Most schools involved in testing screen for marijuana, stimulants and opiates. More extensive tests, such as for steroids, add to the cost. A typical test costs $42, the Department of Education says.

    A few school systems are beginning to test the legal boundaries the Supreme Court set for screening students. This fall, nearly all 575 students in the Nettle Creek school district's secondary school in Hagerstown, Ind., will be subject to random testing — not only athletes and students in clubs, but also those who drive to campus and anyone who wants to attend a school dance, prom or class party.

    The ACLU and groups such as Students for a Sensible Drug Policy say there is no proof that testing deters drug use. They say testing could discourage kids from joining sports teams or after-school clubs.

    White House drug czar John Walters says testing gives teens a reason to reject peer pressure to use drugs. "It'll give a kid a suit of armor," he says.

    Teens' drug use has dipped recently, a University of Michigan study says. However, 50% of 12th-graders surveyed last year said they had tried an illicit drug.
     
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  2. Lunar Loops

    Lunar Loops Driftwood Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Drug searches help keep schools safe

    And there's more...this from http://www.topix.net:
    Drug searches help keep schools safe

    The State - South Carolina
    By DEVON MARROW
    August 08, 2006



    Cindy Smith can't forget the images of Goose Creek police storming the halls of Stratford High nearly three years ago, forcing students to lie face down on the floor while dogs sniffed their book bags and the students themselves.
    Her daughters don't attend the school, but the Lexington County mother of two high school students joins thousands of S.C. parents who rely on school resource officers and administrators to keep their children's schools safe and drug free.
    Nobody, officials said, wants a repeat of Stratford High.
    A poll of Midlands school districts showed little has changed since the Stratford drug raid.
    But that's because officials were already careful.
    'You've got to use some common sense when you're using search and seizure,' said Bill Gummerson, Lexington 3 superintendent.
    'We don't want the drug dogs sniffing children.'
    School officials say the searches serve more as a deterrent.
    For example, more than 100 drug inspections were done in Lexington County middle and high schools over a two-year period. Only two arrests were made.
    'I would consider that a success,' said Dean Hatchell, president of S.C. Police K-9 Association.
    'It validates that the hard work that the administration is putting in is working.'
    Last week, Roco, a 10-year-old black Labrador retriever, patrolled the empty halls of Irmo Middle School polishing his drug-finding technique at a South Carolina Police K-9 Association training session.
    The Lexington County police service dog kept his nose buried in every corner and pressed against every locker looking for evidence of Ecstasy, heroin and marijuana.
    His ears weren't back in agitation, and there was no deep, throaty growl as he searched.
    Instead, his tail wagged, and when he locked on the scent of 400 Ecstasy pills, he was handsomely rewarded with his red squeaky toy.
    Although school wasn't in session, there's little difference between Roco's practice run and an actual search, Hatchell said.
    The handlers are with them at all times, and the dogs don't come in contact with students.
    The K-9 association, he said, aims to promote a high level of professionalism for handlers and the dogs.
    By law, everything is subject to a search when a person walks into a school building.
    That means a student's book bag, locker and car are within an administrator's rights to search.
    In addition to detecting illegal drugs, Richland County and North Charleston sheriff's departments are among the agencies that have trained dogs to detect gunpowder.
    Hatchell said he's certain parents understand that police service dogs and police officers are working toward a safe environment.
    'People in South Carolina need to feel comfortable when their kids are in school.'
     
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  3. Lunar Loops

    Lunar Loops Driftwood Platinum Member & Advisor

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    US drug chief promotes random testing in schools

    Oh dear god, will it never end (and I think the answer is probably not)? Some of the guff spouted in this article in The Guardian (UK) would make you weep:

    US drug chief promotes random testing in schools

    Sarah Boseley, health editor
    Thursday August 10, 2006
    The Guardian



    America's drug tsar raised the stakes on drug testing in schools yesterday, suggesting that it could come to be seen as normal required and "responsible behaviour" in the same way that some US schools routinely test all pupils for tuberculosis before admission.
    John Walters, director of the White House's office of national drug control policy, was speaking after meeting Jim Knight, an education minister. While Mr Walters said he had no authority to comment on the UK's drug policies, he made it clear that the US would continue to promote the tough line on drugs that has interested the British government.
    "Some schools in the United States say a child needs to have a TB test," he said. "It's not considered to be an invasion of privacy. It's responsible behaviour. I believe we're very close to be able to think about that in terms of substance abuse."
    Random drug testing has already started in schools in Kent. The government is taking part with Kent county council in a pilot project, overseen by Peter Walker, the headteacher of Abbey school in Faversham. In April Ruth Kelly, the then education secretary, told a teachers' conference that Abbey had found it "a hugely effective way of creating peer pressure against taking drugs in school".
    Mr Walters said cannabis use was not just a matter of personal choice and the expression of freedom in the same way as a preference for clothes and hairstyles. "We're still living as if substance abuse is a fashion statement," he said.
    Taking a strong line against marijuana was "not being judgmental but showing that we care".
    Up to 700 schools in the US have adopted random drug testing, he said, and one school a week was joining them. He said it was not his business to criticise the reclassification of cannabis in the UK but he believed cannabis was "a dead-end drug and a stepping stone to addiction".
    He added: "There's no question that these substances acting on human beings are bad for them and leads them to reach out for other drugs ... ".
    The US policies were based on scientific evidence - some of it from the UK - that cannabis was linked to psychosis and schizophrenia. "We have a particular problem of our attitudes towards cannabis which hinders policy and hinders people going into treatment," he said.
    "The attitude is that it's only marijuana. It doesn't help if your kids are playing Russian roulette that they are using a smaller calibre weapon."
    Mr Walters strongly opposed harm reduction policies such as needle exchanges and injection rooms, saying they were "morally dubious". "It is a question of why you would want to use a Band-Aid against the serious disease of addiction when there is a solution," he said.
    Permitting such harm reduction measures gave the impression that "society allows a stance of it's OK to be an addict", he said. US opposition to harm reduction measures is likely to come under serious criticism at the International Aids conference in Toronto next week.
     
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  4. jesusfreak666er

    jesusfreak666er Newbie

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    Finally a chance to shine after my goverment course.

    I would like to site Vernonia School (district 47) v. Acton 1995
    the precedents of this case found that it was consitutional for a district to force a kid to take a drug test, in order to play a sport for the school. though this is not applicable to non sports related testing, it has been called upon for just that. This case is often sited as rationale to create mandatory testing, if I has time he will set a up a link on the case file.
     
  5. old hippie 56

    old hippie 56 Gold Member

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    Here something swim read last night in Norml newsletter





    DOE Cuts Funding For Random Student Drug Testing Programs

    Washington, DC: The US Department of Education (DOE) has dramatically reduced the level of funding available to subsidize random student drug testing programs in public high schools and middle schools, according to the agency's Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools.

    According to the agency, only $1.7 million in federal funds will be available for schools that wish to enact student drug testing programs for the 2006-2007 school year. Last year, the DOE subsidized student drug testing programs in 350 schools nationwide at a total cost of more than $7 million.

    The White House had previously proposed increasing the budget to fund student drug testing programs to more than $25 million.

    According to the DOE, grantees will be required to participate in an ongoing national evaluation of the effectiveness of mandatory student drug testing programs.

    To date, the only federal study to assess the impact of student drug testing policies on a national basis found that "drug testing, as practiced in recent years in American secondary schools, does not prevent or inhibit student drug use."