Social Question

chyna's avatar

What do you think about mandatory drug testing for students?

Asked by chyna (42921points) November 16th, 2010

My county just passed a policy that requires student athletes, drivers and those in extracurricular programs such as band and show choir to sign consent forms for random urine tests. Students would be asked to go to the restroom and urinate in a cup with a medical worker standing outside to listen to “normal sounds of urination”. I don’t have kids but I find this policy to be an invasion of privacy. What do you parents or even non-parents think of this policy?

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40 Answers

sleepdoc's avatar

I think in part this would be ok if the parents and student signed a consent form before joining the organization letting them know that they would be subject to the testing. If there are significant problems with this, it might be a deterrant. After all they are extracurricular activities right, nobody HAS to participate in them.

JustmeAman's avatar

I think the government needs to keep out of our private business. I think all drugs should be legalized. Why is it any of the governments business what we do to our own bodies? If you want any of the drugs you can get them, the laws are not stopping the use of drugs. All the control is doing is putting thousands behind bars and the cost of the DEA is a large part of our national debt.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I think it’s total bullshit. If the kids have to be tested the teachers and administrators shoud be subject to the exact same rules.

jrpowell's avatar

If your aren’t driving a forklift you shouldn’t be tested for drug use. I have never heard of anyone dying from a trombone.

sleepdoc's avatar

If kids are using…. why the strong opposition to having them tested with their parents consent.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@sleepdoc I was a honor student growing up and I know for a fact we couldn’t have fielded a single team with this policy in place.

chyna's avatar

@sleepdoc Actually, it’s the parents who are protesting the testing of their kids.
@johnpowell One time at band camp….

We would not have had a girls track team, of which I was a member, if we had to pass urine tests.

sleepdoc's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe meaning nobody would have consented?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@chyna What’s the kids response?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@sleepdoc Meaning no one would have passed.

chyna's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Only one student was interviewed for the article and he “thanked the school board members for making an attempt to curb the schools drug problem.”
“I think by targeting athletes and student drivers, there’s where we’ll make the most impact.”

jrpowell's avatar

I should clarify. If you show no signs of drug use during the activity you shouldn’t be tested. If you smell of booze make them piss in a cup.

It shouldn’t be random.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I’m for testing the school board officials first. If they fail, then they get to keep their jobs.

JustmeAman's avatar

Why do we need to make the most impact? If kids want it they will use it.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@chyna The quotes probably not too far from the truth. Half the fun of the sports was the parties after. We were young and overloaded on testosterone and adrenalin, we had a lot of steam to blow off plus we thought we were bulletproof as kids.

jrpowell's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe :: But that was probably booze. That is out of your system in a day.

YoBob's avatar

Well, I think the same of random drug testing for students that I do for random drug testing for any guy on the street.

This is not a police state. IMHO, one needs probable cause to mount an investigation (and related invasion of privacy that entails)

Do you really want instill the idea that the “authorities” to have the right to make you drop your drawers and piss in a cup on demand just because they decided you look like somebody who might be up to something?

Sure, I can understand testing of competitive atheletes for performance enhancing drugs. However, that is entirely a different thing from allowing random drug tests on any student “just because”.

iamthemob's avatar

Constitutionally, random testing has already been tested and accepted as legal, for most any after-school or school based activity under Earls.

Privacy rights of public school students are diminished, and are not the same as the man on the street. First, minors are not full citizens. They do not have the same rights as adults, but they also are not subject to the same responsibilities (they aren’t automatically tried as adults, and they can’t be held responsible for contractual obligations if they don’t want to be). Second, public schools are government entities, and therefore the students are in the custody of the government to a certain extent while in school. Therefore, the school has a duty to protect the students from certain influences, as well as protect students from each other, as any harm that comes to them they could be responsible for in the end (the parents can sue the school).

Those that are involved in after-school programs are in the care of the school longer, or to a greater degree. They travel to other schools to preform, compete, etc. This adds an additional liability for the school, and therefore, if the student wants to take advantage of the program, they have the choice to do so under the rules the school sets forward to protect itself.

This isn’t about making sure that the students are taking preformance-enhancing drugs and therefore “cheating.” It’s about the school attempting to protect the children under its care to its best ability.

The fact that these are minors shows that it is, in this case, limited to a particular group that has historically been a protected, and paternalized, class. This doesn’t suggest danger in a “police state” form. Personally, I think it’s too far to have someone listening outside the door. However, the testing itself is not an affront, by itself, to our rights…and it is firmly supportable under the law as it has been throughout history and as we currently consider it in relation to children.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I, as a parent, would disagree with it.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Ten years ago when my kids were in high school I thought hard about home-schooling, and it wasn’t at all popular then. These days I’d be doing that without a second thought.

The home-schooled kids in this area aren’t allowed to join public school athletic teams, so that wouldn’t be an issue (my kids weren’t into school sports, anyway), and the rec soccer league I once ran while they were in high school would never follow such a policy. For pity’s sake, think of what you’re doing here: the best way to encourage kids to stay healthy and out of trouble is… to participate in extracurricular activities, including sports… and now you want to drug test them to do that.

Completely asinine.

JustmeAman's avatar

That is what I was going to say @CyanoticWasp. I think parents should keep the kids out of a school that forces drug testing.

iamthemob's avatar

I’ll clarify that, although legal, I think this is stupid as well. The one way to make sure that people will try to hide things from you, and not tell you about things, is the same way that you make sure to generate this behavior in adults – show them that you don’t trust them.

That’s exactly what this does. Although we should be particularly observant with minors, I don’t think that someone’s drug and alcohol use is anyone else’s business unless they start to show that they are putting it in front of more important things, or letting it control their lives.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Considering it’s not mandatory for all students, just the ones that want to participate in extracurricular activities or want to drive on campus, I don’t have a problem with it. If you don’t want to be drug tested, don’t sign up for sports or drive on the school campus, that’s easy enough. Those things are privileges, not rights. Athletes usually sign an agreement about the fact that they are representing the school (often at all times, not just while at school) and I can understand the school wanting to make sure they aren’t being represented by people that are using drugs. Driving on campus can be very dangerous as it is considering these teenagers just started driving recently. If they were to hit another child or run into the building, there could be a lot of damages and injuries. I can understand the school wanting to try to keep that from happening.

Plain and simple, if the students or the parents don’t want to be drug tested, then they just don’t have to participate in the extracurricular activities. I really don’t get the big deal about not wanting a teenager tested. Might as well teach them responsibility for their actions while they are young. They’ll need to understand how drug testing works and understand that it is part of the employment process for many companies these days anyway.

deni's avatar

that is sssssssssssooooo lame. i believe it will deter certain students from participating in extracurricular activities. also lame. you can be the biggest pothead ever and be the best saxophonist. who cares? why do the two have to interfere? unless there is a noticeable and serious problem, random drug testing is bullshit.

JustmeAman's avatar

It is not anyone elses businesss so no drug testing.

wundayatta's avatar

What is the point? What are they going to do with the kids who test positive? Turn them over to the police? Throw them in jail? Kick them out?

They wouldn’t not punish them would they? They wouldn’t do something positive like get them counseling so that whatever problems they face will get dealt with (whether or not the drug is a problem)?

What problem are they addressing? Absenteeism? Sleeping in class? Skipping class? What? I bet they don’t even know. I bet it’s some knee jerk action by some politician who wants to be seen as tough on drugs.

Makes me ill. It really does.

ratboy's avatar

The real “drug problem” is the war on drugs.

flutherother's avatar

I thought Americans had the right to bear arms so that this sort of crap would never be inflicted upon them?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Is it a crime to have drugs in your system when you don’t have any drugs in your possession?
Why don’t I ask fluther, duh

asmonet's avatar

I think it’s ridiculous. If the parents could opt-in on behalf of their child that would be fine for others but would piss me off personally. But as it is this is ridiculous. It’s an incredible invasion of privacy.

Not cool, America.

I agree with @johnpowell actually.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

I know it’s been accepted constitutionally, but I disagree with that ruling. Until there’s probable cause, it’s an invasion of privacy.

Also, how does listening for peeing sounds help? If you aim well, there’s no urine hitting the water to make the sound….

Paradox's avatar

I think these types of laws actually deter students from changing their ways. Of course there are always the threat of lawsuits if a student got hurt especially if high/drunk. My biggest concern here is that these drug tests will eventually be used to test all students in the near future. I also believe as a society who claims to be so worried about it’s children to be just as concerned about other issues such as bullying, harassment among other issues. Issues which may lead to kids doing drugs in the first place. If no one shows kids people care about them then most certainly the kids aren’t going to care about themselves.

Mikewlf337's avatar

Well I have mixed feelings on this subject. I don’t think every student needs a drug test. Just the ones who abuse drugs and alcohol and cause problems within the school.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Random drug testing is crap. If the idea is weed out druggie kids from extracurriculars then it should be mandatory for all of the kids. If the kids are serious about wanting to be on those types of teams or whatever then they’ll be okay with being clean and passing drug tests.

I was a student once, high school was the beginning of my heaviest drug usage and I was on track as well as cross country teams. I think I may have chosen the sports over the drugs but I can’t say for sure.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Bullshit. The only exception I could possibly see is if the child was doing extremely bad in school and there was reason to believe it was due to drugs. Otherwise, it shouldnt matter

Ron_C's avatar

I think that unless the students are driving the school bus the government has no business interfering in their lives. We are getting to be a real police state.

jlelandg's avatar

@JustmeAman I don’t necessarily think all drugs should be legalized, but the US could definitely deal with chilling the freak out on some of them. Overall I think you’ve got the right idea.

Nullo's avatar

I don’t like it.

And what @YoBob said.

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