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Drug Testing In Schools

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Everyone knows that drugs are a big problem today. You can not go a day without hearing about or witnessing yourself a situation involving drug abuse. The government has tried to correct these drug problems in many different ways, but there is definitely one method that is not right. Drug testing in schools invades on a student's privacy, keeps a student from getting involved in school activities, and costs the tax payers a lot of money. It is not right for government and school districts to test students that are completely innocent. If the student never had a history or offense against them there is definitely no reason to do any kind of testing on any circumstance.

Drug testing in school invades on a student's privacy. The fourth amendment clearly states, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..." How would you feel if you were an A grade student your entire school career and one day an unfamiliar person comes into your class and takes you out in front of everyone to take you for a drug test? I'm sure you would not feel very good about the situation. Many students would be embarrassed and feel like they did something wrong when really, they've done nothing wrong at all. "Random drug testing of students is a humiliating, invasive practice that runs contrary to the principles of due process"(Armentano 8). Every student has the right to go to school and get an education regardless if they do drugs or not. By testing students in school it is making students not want to come. Without an education a teenager does not have a good chance at a very positive future. On the other hand, according to the U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, "The student drug testing program will provide students with another reason to say no to drug use" ("States News Service"). Some students will say no to drugs, but the select few students that really do have a problem will do whatever they can to beat the system or even stop attending school. It sounds pretty extreme that a student would stop going to school and destroy their future at a young age just because of drugs. A 10th grader at Fenway High School in Boston comments on how testing would not affect his peers using drugs: "They would just stop coming to school, and that would make it worse...We have a right to an education" (Miller 2). Even though the majority of students that would be tested are not 18, that does not mean they do not have the right to say "no". If there really is an obvious problem in most cases parents, family, or friends get involved and talk to the student about the issue and help them get help. For the select few cases that those people would not be there for the student, teachers or other advisors in school would be able to see a problem and take action on it that way. There is no reason for random people to get tested for drug use. A student's life will become less and less private if the government gets more involved in a student's personal life. Some people argue that a teenager does not need that much privacy, but that is not true. During your teenage years you are going through a lot of changes and experiencing new things. A lot of times students are not real comfortable about discussing these issues with people. By forcing students to take drug tests it will ruin the bond or what could be bond between a student and their teacher or advisor. Some students will not even feel comfortable talking about issues with other peers with the fear of people finding out. Students will feel like they have to hide everything and will not discuss any problems with others even if they are not drug related. Students will not want to be involved in school at all.

This could also keep students from participating in after school activities. Usually the first and as of now sometimes the only group of students that get tested are the athletes. Many students that are scared of being tested will not join a team or group for that reason. That is not fair to the students. In some cases the athletes are looked upon as having the drug problems. There is a difference between occasionally doing a drug and having a "problem". Throughout my school career I have never met an athlete that had a drug problem. Yes, there were some that did do drugs once in awhile, but it was very obvious for me to point out the students that had a serious problem. Very few of them were involved in any after school activities or sports. The reason for this may have been some of the coaches and advisors would give drug tests to the members. Wierzenski, who is a current activist with Students for Sensible Drug Policy makes a good point by stating, "Randomly testing those who participate in after-school programs simply gives students who have used or are at risk of using drugs an excuse to not join the activities"(Wierzenski B9). Instead of pushing away students that have a drug problem they should welcome them into after school organized activities. By getting a student that does have a drug problem in a sport or activity it gives them less time to do drugs or experiment with new ones and in some cases it persuades the student to stop whatever they are doing. They may realize there are other things out there that make them feel good and drugs are not the answer. Some people experience a natural high



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