Scott Tibbs
blog post
January 25th, 2005

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Drug testing in schools?

Two articles in yesterday's Herald-Times (see here and here) addressed the topic of drug testing in government schools. One article cites a study that random drug testing is not effective, and another reports on a group of high school students lobbying the legislature to include teachers in the drug tests.

I think the proposal to include teachers in drug tests is an unnecessarily antagonistic (though understandable) slap at teachers from students. The motives behind the proposal aside, it is something that should be considered. Government school teachers often spend more time with kids than their parents do, so it is reasonable that precautions should be taken to make sure children are in good hands.

I do not have a problem with students involved in extracurricular activities being subject to such tests as a condition of participation in those activities. I am, however, opposed to random drug testing applied to all students. That is too much of an invasion of privacy, especially considering schools are run by the government. If there is suspicion that a student is using drugs, then it is reasonable to test them after going through the proper due process to ensure their rights are protected.

I hope the Indiana Legislature treats drug testing in schools with common sense, rather than hysteria.