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High School Drug Testing

Written by Sierra Rein
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Unless you look at youth statistics, you may not understand how essential high school drug testing might be. In 1998, it was estimated that 9.9 percent of teenagers and youths between the ages of 12-17 reported use of illicit drugs. And these are the reported statistics -- the actual number may be higher.

Schools which have illicit drug use in their student bodies are more likely to suffer violence, gun attacks, gang disputes, and bullying. Because of this, many school heads have implemented high school drug testing and preemptive protection plans amongst the students. These have reduced the use of drugs within the school, as well as decrease the risk of violent behavior within school walls.

Legal Issues of High School Drug Testing

Because this is a sensitive issue regarding privacy and public interest, drug testing laws have sought to find a balance. A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling (Veronica v. Acton June 26, 1995) ruled that students who decide to participate in school athletics should expect a certain amount of intrusion on their individual privacy. The issue of personal privacy needs to be weighed against the desires of the school district, especially when they are interested in creating a drug-free environment for fellow students.

Drug testing is indeed a touchy subject, and no more so when our children are involved. However, drug testing companies understand that there has to be a balance between honesty, privacy, and an encouragement towards working together towards a common, drug-free school system. This can be so, as long as we understand how our young adults are a part of this.

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