The issue being covered is whether or not schools should be able to drug test their students. One side says there should be drug testing and one side says there should not be any. The use of drug testing is to reduce the use of drugs by students. Everyone wants students to not be using drugs but one side drug testing will be an effective way to reduce it but the other side says there is other ways in which to do this. “Schools that have adopted random student drug testing seek to decrease drug use among students via two routes. First, they hope random testing will serve as a deterrent and give students a reason to resist peer pressure to take drugs. Secondly, drug testing can identify teens who have started using drugs and would be good targets for early intervention, as well as identify those who already have drug problems, so they can be referred for treatment.”
On the yes for drug testing, the authors are Susanne James-Burdumy, Brian Goesling, John Deke, Eric Einspurch, and Marsha Silverberg. These authors are from U.S. Department of Education and other centers for education. These people being from these different places, somewhat does effect their credibility because they have what students think they do from what they hear from other people but are never getting a first hand account of what actually goes on in a school everyday and what drugs are being used an such. On the no side, the authors are Jennifer Kern, Fatema Gunja, Alexandra Cox, Marsha Rosenbaum, Judith Appel, and Anjuli Verma. These authors are all from the American Civil Liberties Union and they work on fighting the drug war but changing policies for drugs based on science, compassion, health and human rights. Their credibility isn’t affected by them working for this union because they want to fight the drug war but are looking to fight this with policies that make sense.
The main arguments for yes side were that drug testing acts as a deterrent for drug use. Susanne James-Burdumy said that, “schools which implemented mandatory random drug testing had less substance use. Moreover, random drug testing did not have a negative impact on the number of students engaging in school activities. Likewise, drug testing did not affect how students feel about their school.” The yes side mainly emphasizes that the threat of drug testing is enough for stopping drug use of preventing drug use from occurring in the first place.
On the other hand, the main arguments for the no side are that drug testing does not actually have an impact on drug use. “Moreover, drug testing is costly, it may make schools susceptible to litigation, and it undermines relationships of trust between students and teachers.” Another main argument for no drug testing is that this could cause students to avoid extracurricular activities. Also drug testing does not effectively identify students who may have serious drug problems.
My reactions to this issue about drug testing are that it does not effectively stop students from doing drugs. It does reduce drug use somewhat just because students know there is a drug test does not stop them from doing drugs. I know this from a personal experience because as an athlete we do get randomly drug tested but it does not stop athletes from doing whatever they want to do. There are many students who have gone out the night before and tried to detox the night before from getting tested. Also some students magically find out there may be a drug test coming in a week or and word travels fast around campus so people will stop in time to pass their drug test and it will not be an issue. Another thing with drug testing is not everyone is going to be tested so once people find out who it is, others will continue to do what they do.
I just do not think drug testing is effective way of reducing drugs. Another thing is, even for younger students and that are participating in extracurricular activities, they will not do drugs but there are more students not participating then there is so this is not stopping them from doing drugs. People outside of extracurricular activities are doing drugs and there is no one stopping them and even having random test inside school wouldn’t help either because a lot of students are not necessarily doing drugs during the school day.
My conclusion could be controversial because I don’t know the facts for students doing drugs within the school day but I know from experience that random drug testing does not stop students from doing drugs. This does, however, come from a college level education and not younger students. Other questions raised by the article are; should the expense of drug testing be a factor in whether schools test students? Another question is, does drug testing unfairly discriminate against student athletes? So there are other important questions raised by this issue of should schools drug test students.
“Frequently Asked Questions About Drug Testing in Schools.” National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). National Institute of Drug Abuse, n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2014. Goldberg, Ray. Taking Sides. 10th ed. New York, NY: McGraw Hill, 2010. Print. Clashing Views in Drugs and Society.