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School Drug Testing

Written by Sierra Rein
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There is currently a lot of controversy and conversation surrounding the issues of school drug testing. In 2002, Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas stated that he and his constituents found that "testing students who participate in extracurricular activities is a reasonably effective means of addressing the School District's legitimate concerns in preventing, deterring, and detecting drug use." This recent decision has allowed public schools to drug test students, especially those eager to be affiliated with extracurricular activities, sports and other competitive events.

The urge to perform school drug testing should depend on the school community as a whole, and should not be based on one individual. Parents, teachers, and school administrators should all be part of the process to build a testing process policy and to teach the students all of the aspects of drugs and random drug testing in general. By including everyone, and answering any fears and concerns, the right balance between effective prevention and privacy can be reached.

The More Random the School Drug Testing, the Better

Students are intelligent beings, and the smartest of them do their research regarding drug tests and how to pass cleanly despite substance abuse. Tricks of the trade, from putting salt into urine cups to cleansing the urine itself from the inside with a "Karma" powder substance. They know how long ecstasy and alcohol can stay in their system, and know that marijuana can be traced up to a month after smoking it.

While drug testing may not catch every student with drugs in his or her system, this policy has made an overall dent in many student polls regarding the average substance use of drugs and alcohol. For the most severe drug problems, method such as non-invasive hair and saliva tests (which are difficult to tamper with) can be used instead of urine. Blood tests are another option, but must be handled professionally as to secure proper procedure and analysis.

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