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Should Schools Be Allowed To Drug Test Students?

 
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seaeagle



Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 5764

Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 9:28 pm    Post subject:

SignOnSanDiego.com > News > Nation -- Private Missouri school considers mandatory drug testing for students

Quote:
TOWN AND COUNTRY, Mo. – Behind the turreted brick walls of Christian Brothers College High School is a clean-cut student body of about 1,000 boys in collared shirts and dress pants.

Tuition for freshmen at the private school in suburban St. Louis will be $9,500 next year, including the cost of a new laptop computer. There is also the chance all parents will be charged another $60 to help pay for mandatory drug tests for students, a rare program hailed by the White House but disparaged by civil libertarians.

“I know a lot of people are worried about privacy concerns, but they're telling us it'll be kept confidential,” said junior Tommy Daher, 17, of Manchester. “I think it's great that we'll be leading the way in this.”

The school has not decided whether to implement the program. Officials have asked parents to respond to a survey on the idea and have not set a timetable for a decision.

Like Christian Brothers, schools around the nation have been trying to determine what's helpful, and what's over the line when it comes to testing children for drugs.

There's a move in many public schools to test athletes or students involved in extracurricular activities. Schools testing for steroids are on the rise. There are voluntary programs for middle schoolers who have agreed to stay drug free.

Private schools have more leeway to set their own policies, though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that schools can conduct random drug testing on middle and high school students who participate in competitive extracurricular activities. President Bush voiced support of student drug testing in his 2004 State of the Union address, helping to fuel interest, said the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

“I think it's a clear tool not to play hide-and-seek with this problem,” said the White House office's director, John Walters.

He has heard of roughly one school district or private school a week starting some form of random drug testing since last spring. He did not know of any public schools attempting mandatory testing of all its students, as some private schools are doing.

At Christian Brothers College High, students and officials of the school run by a Roman Catholic order say they have a small drug problem no worse than other schools and are looking for an effective deterrent. Randomly selected students who test positive would be offered help and asked to leave school if they fail a second round of testing. (more at link above)

I'm in two minds about this. Is this starting to push the thin edge of the wedge? Shouldn't it be the parents' responsibility for bringing up their children? Should those testing positive be reported to the police in the hope of identifying their suppliers? I don't know - it just seems that officials & testing & legalities are starting to impact on all sides of life.

Also, could it have the negative impact of students feeling that people don't trust them to be responsible? We keep on talking about being responsible adults, and at the same we're testing them because we believe they could be trying to deceive us.

*BTW, I only noticed after I posted this topic that the school is only considering bringing in drug-testing, so please don't pull me up on the topic title.
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xavierx



Joined: Nov 06, 2004
Posts: 5438



PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 9:36 pm    Post subject:

The poll and the story are somewhat different. If you ask if public schools should be allowed to test and expel students, I would have to think about it more. This, however, is a private school, and they have the right to set whatever standards for admission or retention that they want. If you don't like it, don't pay to go to that school!
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seaeagle



Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 5764

Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 9:48 pm    Post subject:

Quote:

The poll and the story are somewhat different. If you ask if public schools should be allowed to test and expel students, I would have to think about it more. This, however, is a private school, and they have the right to set whatever standards for admission or retention that they want. If you don't like it, don't pay to go to that school!

Understood. However, the practice could move to public schools, and this snippet from the article gives an indication that the door has been slightly opened.:
Quote:

Private schools have more leeway to set their own policies, though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that schools can conduct random drug testing on middle and high school students who participate in competitive extracurricular activities. President Bush voiced support of student drug testing in his 2004 State of the Union address, helping to fuel interest, said the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
and, further down the article (it was too long to post the entire article here):
Quote:
Elsewhere in the country, school districts are making different choices. The Grapevine-Colleyville public school district in Texas, with about 4,500 students at its two high schools, has started random testing for students in competitive extracurricular activities.
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clhenry



Joined: Feb 13, 2003
Posts: 9050

Location: West by god Virginia

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 9:52 pm    Post subject:

Mixed feelings on it, but you get drug tested in the work place. Guess it could be considered a learning experience. Cool
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xavierx



Joined: Nov 06, 2004
Posts: 5438



PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 10:33 pm    Post subject:

Quote:

Quote:

The poll and the story are somewhat different. If you ask if public schools should be allowed to test and expel students, I would have to think about it more. This, however, is a private school, and they have the right to set whatever standards for admission or retention that they want. If you don't like it, don't pay to go to that school!

Understood. However, the practice could move to public schools, and this snippet from the article gives an indication that the door has been slightly opened.:
Quote:

Private schools have more leeway to set their own policies, though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that schools can conduct random drug testing on middle and high school students who participate in competitive extracurricular activities. President Bush voiced support of student drug testing in his 2004 State of the Union address, helping to fuel interest, said the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
and, further down the article (it was too long to post the entire article here):
Quote:
Elsewhere in the country, school districts are making different choices. The Grapevine-Colleyville public school district in Texas, with about 4,500 students at its two high schools, has started random testing for students in competitive extracurricular activities.


Again, this is different. The article only cites one example, from students involved in VOLUNTARY competitive extracurricular activities. First, they know the rules before the choose to join - if they want to do drugs instead of compete, that is their choice. Second, what are they testing for in the "competitive extracurricular activities" case? The article doesn't say, and it could be for steroids.

Keep in mind that this is legal, according to the article. If you don't think it should be, get a law passed.

Also, this wouldn't even go on the student's record - it would be completely confidential between the student, his parents, and the school. They even say that the result of the first test would be discussing treatment options with the parents.

Another critical point that seems to have been missed - the students (ok, the only one mentioned in the article) don't have a problem with this, and in fact welcome it:
Quote:
I know a lot of people are worried about privacy concerns, but they're telling us it'll be kept confidential, said junior Tommy Daher, 17, of Manchester. I think it's great that we'll be leading the way in this.
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seaeagle



Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 5764

Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:04 pm    Post subject:

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

The poll and the story are somewhat different. If you ask if public schools should be allowed to test and expel students, I would have to think about it more. This, however, is a private school, and they have the right to set whatever standards for admission or retention that they want. If you don't like it, don't pay to go to that school!

Understood. However, the practice could move to public schools, and this snippet from the article gives an indication that the door has been slightly opened.:
Quote:

Private schools have more leeway to set their own policies, though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that schools can conduct random drug testing on middle and high school students who participate in competitive extracurricular activities. President Bush voiced support of student drug testing in his 2004 State of the Union address, helping to fuel interest, said the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
and, further down the article (it was too long to post the entire article here):
Quote:
Elsewhere in the country, school districts are making different choices. The Grapevine-Colleyville public school district in Texas, with about 4,500 students at its two high schools, has started random testing for students in competitive extracurricular activities.


Again, this is different. The article only cites one example, from students involved in VOLUNTARY competitive extracurricular activities. First, they know the rules before the choose to join - if they want to do drugs instead of compete, that is their choice. Second, what are they testing for in the "competitive extracurricular activities" case? The article doesn't say, and it could be for steroids.

Keep in mind that this is legal, according to the article. If you don't think it should be, get a law passed.

Also, this wouldn't even go on the student's record - it would be completely confidential between the student, his parents, and the school. They even say that the result of the first test would be discussing treatment options with the parents.

Another critical point that seems to have been missed - the students (ok, the only one mentioned in the article) don't have a problem with this, and in fact welcome it:
Quote:
I know a lot of people are worried about privacy concerns, but they're telling us it'll be kept confidential, said junior Tommy Daher, 17, of Manchester. I think it's great that we'll be leading the way in this.


This is a poll. That means I am asking for people to vote & give their opinion. It does not say that drug-testing is occurring right now. It is not saying that I agree or not. It is asking if you believe that drug testing should be carried out on school students (i.e. now OR in the future). The idea of a poll is for people to vote (anonymously) and to hopefully contribute something worthwhile to the discussion. I didn't even give my opinion in my post. I said I was pondering over a lot of things. That is why I asked for other forum members to vote & if they want to, give their opinion on what they think of the drug testing issue.

For all I know, drug testing may never make it into most schools. What the poll is saying is "Should Schools Be Allowed To Drug Test Students?", and if so, who should be tested. That is a question, not an answer. I've voted, you've voted, others have or will hopefully vote, and at the end we'll be able to see what most people feel about the various issues associated with it.

There are quite a few options covering who could/should (if any) be tested. I didn't name every single illicit drug in existance - I believe that most in this forum would have some idea on what the tests would cover. As far as I'm aware, steroids are illegal in competitive sport, and I gave the choice of only competitive sport players being tested for drugs. I think you might have misread my intentions. I didn't say this is what is happening. I asked if forum members believe certain processes should be implemented or not, now or sometime in the future. That is all - it is a forum poll.

Now that you've cast your vote - now you can have the fun of watching what others choose in the poll. See if others agree or disagree with what you voted for. Enjoy the experience. :biggrin:
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Gary66



Joined: Sep 01, 2005
Posts: 8353



PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:12 pm    Post subject:

All students should be randomly tested, they should be expelled on the first offense and required to go through a drug abuse program and yes the police should be notified. BTW I have a 13 year old Daughter. Anyone selling drugs in or near a school should be given life in prison.
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clhenry



Joined: Feb 13, 2003
Posts: 9050

Location: West by god Virginia

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:13 pm    Post subject:

The only thing that makes a poll is discussion. You hear from both sides with points and counter points. Then you can form your own opinion. How can you take a poll when your not informed?? Cool
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Werebo



Joined: Aug 09, 2003
Posts: 4078

Location: SE London, UK...

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:16 pm    Post subject:

The reason I ticked 'Other' for all answers is that I don't think it's up to the school to actually test for drugs. If they suspect a pupil of taking or supplying drugs it should be handed over to the police.

The police represent the Law, NOT teachers/headmasters/ school governors etc. Mad It's very similar to t'other thread about strip-searching pupils... :thumbdown:

This is pushing the door open to letting any authority, whether it's housing, education, health, press or whatever, test for whatever they think is wrong. They will use the same old accusation against protestors: "If you're innocent, what do you have to hide??" I have nothing to hide, but of what concern is it to you??!!!

The next step is likely to be 'Authorised Vigilantes' to back them up.

There's gonna be some bad times heading this way soon Sad ....

PS Towards the end of this little rant, I suddenly had a flashback to Monty Python's 'Spanish Inquistion' sketch which has now totally cracked me up :laugh: ...

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Gary66



Joined: Sep 01, 2005
Posts: 8353



PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:28 pm    Post subject:

Quote:

The reason I ticked 'Other' for all answers is that I don't think it's up to the school to actually test for drugs. If they suspect a pupil of taking or supplying drugs it should be handed over to the police.

The police represent the Law, NOT teachers/headmasters/ school governors etc. Mad It's very similar to t'other thread about strip-searching pupils... :thumbdown:

This is pushing the door open to letting any authority, whether it's housing, education, health, press or whatever, test for whatever they think is wrong. They will use the same old accusation against protestors: "If you're innocent, what do you have to hide??" I have nothing to hide, but of what concern is it to you??!!!

The next step is likely to be 'Authorised Vigilantes' to back them up.

There's gonna be some bad times heading this way soon Sad ....

PS Towards the end of this little rant, I suddenly had a flashback to Monty Python's 'Spanish Inquistion' sketch which has now totally cracked me up :laugh: ...


In the US they have independent testing companies to do this. I had to have several drug test due to my employment. Kind of odd though I was not tested when I applied as a Police officer in Washing DC. But that was a long time ago.
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seaeagle



Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 5764

Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:46 pm    Post subject:

Quote:

In the US they have independent testing companies to do this. I had to have several drug test due to my employment. Kind of odd though I was not tested when I applied as a Police officer in Washing DC. But that was a long time ago.

I worked for a while at the company that took the blood samples for our federal police. They went through the interview & associated tests, and were then sent to have a blood test after they had been offered a position. They would only be given employment if they passed the blood test & a criminal history check (of course).
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Sgt Schultz



Joined: Dec 07, 2002
Posts: 7377

Location: St. Louis area

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:52 pm    Post subject:

The city of Town and Country isn't too far away from where I live and has been an ongoing controversy since first proposed. As this particular school is private I have no problem with it. On the other hand I don't support this for public schools for all the children. Werebo brings up some points that I agree with. Plus there is the cost associated with this. My taxes are high enough and now I'll have to pay more to fund this little endeavour which has nothing to do with educating my son.
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clhenry



Joined: Feb 13, 2003
Posts: 9050

Location: West by god Virginia

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:53 pm    Post subject:

We were randomly tested 2 or 3 times a year with the Division of Correction. Notice i said randomly? Funny thing was testing always happened after you had a few words with a supervisor. :laugh:
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tony7914



Joined: Dec 24, 2004
Posts: 4964

Location: Peru Indiana

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 7:02 pm    Post subject:

Quote:

All students should be randomly tested, they should be expelled on the first offense and required to go through a drug abuse program and yes the police should be notified. BTW I have a 13 year old Daughter. Anyone selling drugs in or near a school should be given life in prison.


I disagree, students should not be randomly tested. These are children not convicts. Some jobs do random testing but they are jobs where its essential that the operator is drug and alcohol free. The person being tested is aware of, and agrees to the policy before they take the job, they have a choice in the matter.

Students in most schools do not have the option to go to another school if they don't like the one they are supposed to go to's policy's, nor are their parents given an opt-out choice on the policy either, for them there is little or no choice in the mater.

In the event something happens and the child is drug tested it should be the parents who are notified rather than the authorities, the parents should always be given the opportunity to correct the behavior of their children, obviously if the parents ignore the problem then outside intervention becomes necessary.

I have a 15 year old and a 13 year old, I make it my business to know who they are hanging out with and what they are doing because they are my responsibility, not some armchair expert in a school or at the local welfare office.
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seaeagle



Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 5764

Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:06 pm    Post subject:

Quote:

Quote:

All students should be randomly tested, they should be expelled on the first offense and required to go through a drug abuse program and yes the police should be notified. BTW I have a 13 year old Daughter. Anyone selling drugs in or near a school should be given life in prison.


I disagree, students should not be randomly tested. These are children not convicts. Some jobs do random testing but they are jobs where its essential that the operator is drug and alcohol free. The person being tested is aware of, and agrees to the policy before they take the job, they have a choice in the matter.

Students in most schools do not have the option to go to another school if they don't like the one they are supposed to go to's policy's, nor are their parents given an opt-out choice on the policy either, for them there is little or no choice in the mater.

In the event something happens and the child is drug tested it should be the parents who are notified rather than the authorities, the parents should always be given the opportunity to correct the behavior of their children, obviously if the parents ignore the problem then outside intervention becomes necessary.

I have a 15 year old and a 13 year old, I make it my business to know who they are hanging out with and what they are doing because they are my responsibility, not some armchair expert in a school or at the local welfare office.

Very well said Tony. Somewhere it seems to have been forgotten that parents are responsible for bringing up their children.
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Gary66



Joined: Sep 01, 2005
Posts: 8353



PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:32 pm    Post subject:

Quote:

Quote:

All students should be randomly tested, they should be expelled on the first offense and required to go through a drug abuse program and yes the police should be notified. BTW I have a 13 year old Daughter. Anyone selling drugs in or near a school should be given life in prison.


I disagree, students should not be randomly tested. These are children not convicts. Some jobs do random testing but they are jobs where its essential that the operator is drug and alcohol free. The person being tested is aware of, and agrees to the policy before they take the job, they have a choice in the matter.

Students in most schools do not have the option to go to another school if they don't like the one they are supposed to go to's policy's, nor are their parents given an opt-out choice on the policy either, for them there is little or no choice in the mater.

In the event something happens and the child is drug tested it should be the parents who are notified rather than the authorities, the parents should always be given the opportunity to correct the behavior of their children, obviously if the parents ignore the problem then outside intervention becomes necessary.

I have a 15 year old and a 13 year old, I make it my business to know who they are hanging out with and what they are doing because they are my responsibility, not some armchair expert in a school or at the local welfare office.


In many school districts athletes are required to submit to a drug test. Sure it is the parents responsibility but the problem is that in an inner city half of the parents abuse drugs themselves.
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xavierx



Joined: Nov 06, 2004
Posts: 5438



PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 4:34 am    Post subject:

Quote:

Quote:

All students should be randomly tested, they should be expelled on the first offense and required to go through a drug abuse program and yes the police should be notified. BTW I have a 13 year old Daughter. Anyone selling drugs in or near a school should be given life in prison.


I disagree, students should not be randomly tested. These are children not convicts. Some jobs do random testing but they are jobs where its essential that the operator is drug and alcohol free. The person being tested is aware of, and agrees to the policy before they take the job, they have a choice in the matter.

Students in most schools do not have the option to go to another school if they don't like the one they are supposed to go to's policy's, nor are their parents given an opt-out choice on the policy either, for them there is little or no choice in the mater.

In the event something happens and the child is drug tested it should be the parents who are notified rather than the authorities, the parents should always be given the opportunity to correct the behavior of their children, obviously if the parents ignore the problem then outside intervention becomes necessary.

I have a 15 year old and a 13 year old, I make it my business to know who they are hanging out with and what they are doing because they are my responsibility, not some armchair expert in a school or at the local welfare office.

This is why I said that public schools are different. I agree that public schools are a different ballgame, and I haven't figured out exactly what I think in that case. The article was about a private school, and those students DO have other options. If they or their parents don't like the policy, they can choose not to pay to send their children there.
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tony7914



Joined: Dec 24, 2004
Posts: 4964

Location: Peru Indiana

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 4:27 pm    Post subject:

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

All students should be randomly tested, they should be expelled on the first offense and required to go through a drug abuse program and yes the police should be notified. BTW I have a 13 year old Daughter. Anyone selling drugs in or near a school should be given life in prison.


I disagree, students should not be randomly tested. These are children not convicts. Some jobs do random testing but they are jobs where its essential that the operator is drug and alcohol free. The person being tested is aware of, and agrees to the policy before they take the job, they have a choice in the matter.

Students in most schools do not have the option to go to another school if they don't like the one they are supposed to go to's policy's, nor are their parents given an opt-out choice on the policy either, for them there is little or no choice in the mater.

In the event something happens and the child is drug tested it should be the parents who are notified rather than the authorities, the parents should always be given the opportunity to correct the behavior of their children, obviously if the parents ignore the problem then outside intervention becomes necessary.

I have a 15 year old and a 13 year old, I make it my business to know who they are hanging out with and what they are doing because they are my responsibility, not some armchair expert in a school or at the local welfare office.


In many school districts athletes are required to submit to a drug test. Sure it is the parents responsibility but the problem is that in an inner city half of the parents abuse drugs themselves.


I don't have to much of a problem with testing athletes because they still have a choice in the mater. I think its reasonable to give the parents the opportunity to correct the problem first, if they are not capable of doing so or are not inclined to care, then I have no problem with Social Services getting involved and either forcing them to, or remove the children from the home.
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clhenry



Joined: Feb 13, 2003
Posts: 9050

Location: West by god Virginia

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 5:00 pm    Post subject:

Quote:
then I have no problem with Social Services getting involved

Trouble with that is Social Services doesn't know when to stop or when to keep out of it. They think its their right to tell parents how to raise their kids.
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Werebo



Joined: Aug 09, 2003
Posts: 4078

Location: SE London, UK...

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 7:32 pm    Post subject:

From what I've seen on US TV programs, the only difference between our 2 'Social Services' is the accent :laugh: . Both are a brilliant scheme thats gone wrong in lots of ways. I'm in no way trying to belittle or insult those Social Workers who DO a damn goood job and who do make a positive difference, there should be people like those, running things as well :thumbup:

Possibly, instead of looking at ways to prevent kids taking drugs, society needs to look deeper at WHY kids take drugs and address the problem from that side. After all, if the customers aren't interested, thre's no market....

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