Random Drug Testing in High Schools – Should Schools Do Away With it? [POLL]
Are you in favor of random drug testing in high school?
The school board in Hillsborough this week has decided the fate of their drug testing program in the wake of losing federal dollars to run it.
And by a 6-3 vote, they've decided to keep it!
The township’s school district will remain one of the few public school districts in the state to impose random drug testing on its high school students.
The school board voted Monday to keep the testing after months of renewed debate on a policy first implemented in the district in 2008.
Just three of the nine board members, Gregory Gillette, Judith C. Haas and board president Thomas Kinst, voted to abolish the policy.
The policy came up for debate this year after a student survey suggested that the testing had failed to reduce drug and alcohol use among students, which had been the policy’s intended goal.
Hillsborough High School tested 200 students in 2008, 189 each in 2009 and 2010, and 50 last school year. Of those, five students tested positive for marijuana and opiates the first year, seven for marijuana the second year, eight the third year and six last year.
Fewer students were tested last year because a $123,444 grant from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and the U.S. Department of Education ran out. The tests for the last 50 students cost $2,233.
Students who refuse to participate in the random selection for drug testing are not allowed to participate in athletic and extracurricular activities.
Gillette, who opposed the policy as a board member in 2008, said he has civil liberties concerns with the policy and suggested money would be better spent hiring another high school counselor.
“(We should) provide greater education for teachers and coaches so we can identify kids in trouble, not doing this feel-good policy that makes us feel like we did something when all we’ve done is pick out five or six kids a year.”
Board member Dana Boguszewski, who voted to keep the policy, said she agreed that the policy is “against our Constitution; however, how can I say to abolish this when this is desperately what our community wants?”
Kinst said the policy unfairly punishes conscientious objectors.
But board member Jennifer Haley, who voted to keep the policy, said such students “should sound an alarm to parents who can then sit down and have a conversation with their child. … Is it because they are partaking in drugs?”
Can you say "nanny state"...or in this case, "nanny board?"
Didn't anyone tell them it's not their job to police other people's kids.
And to the board member who said, it's “against our Constitution; however, how can I say to abolish this when this is desperately what our community wants?”
Try this....BECAUSE IT'S AGAINST OUR CONSTITUTION!
If you want someone else to raise your kids, send them to private school!
Bottom line is that I've never been adverse to giving the tests to those who take part in extracurricular activities such as sports, but overall it’s the job of the parents to oversee whether or not their kids are using drugs?
Let us know what you think!