Clark County, IN — Many parents are speaking out this week after a school district in Indiana announced that they will start randomly drug testing their children. On top of the invasion of privacy, staff members observing children as the provide the samples is also concerning and this practice is growing across the country.
According to ABC 13, Henryville High School and Borden High School will randomly select ten students each quarter and test them for ten drugs that teenagers are most likely to use.
One concerned parent spoke to ABC 13 to let the school know how he wished the school would’ve reached out to the parents before deciding to drug test their children.
“There has to be a reasoning, and you have to talk to a parent beforehand,” one concerned parent, Lance Leach said. “Like suspicious behavior or they got caught doing something, then maybe, but not just random drug testing.”
Other parents, apparently unconcerned with the government doing their jobs for them, support the move.
“They do that in high school, even in middle school. Maybe some of the drugs will be stopped from being brought to school,” grandparent Deanna Allen said.
Currently, the program will only target students in extracurricular activities but could be changed to include all students.
The drug tests will also be paid for by the students themselves—funded through a $10 parking pass for students who can drive to school.
Whether or not students will be turned over to police for testing positive remains unclear. However, if students do test positive, the school noted that they will become ineligible for one-third of scheduled extracurricular activities. If they are caught multiple times, they will be ineligible for the rest of their school career.
The state playing the role of parent in this situation is definitely a slippery slope. Making sure kids don’t take drugs that can harm them is the job of a parent. Parents relying on the state to do this for them are surrendering their responsibilities and embarking down a dark path.
If schools are serious about keeping their students from abusing drugs, as the ACLU points out, then they should listen to the experts – to the National Education Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry – who all say that one of the best ways to keep kids off drugs is to get them involved in school and extra-curricular activities. Instead of putting up barriers like drug testing, schools should engage students in meaningful activities.
What’s more, there is no evidence showing that randomly drug testing students does anything to deter drug use and it does nothing to address what’s causing kids from doing drugs in the first place.
Proponents of these measures claim that students are getting into drugs at an increasing rate. However, one aspect of this whole situation that is often overlooked is the fact that many students take drugs because public school is so traumatizing and torturous. Many students seem to take drugs simply to make the day go faster while they are in a place that closely resembles a prison.
If young adults are taking drugs in their teenage years, and it becomes damaging or unhealthy, there is obviously a reason and a root cause for their drug abuse. This is not a problem that can be solved with punishments and lectures, but rather, is a problem that can only be solved by targeting the depression, anxiety and pressure that young adults experience in this society.
If you are a student or parent who wishes to fight this most invasive policy, you can. As the ACLU points out, any student can express his or her discomfort with drug testing. Depending on the laws in your state, you not only have the right to vocally oppose drug testing, but you may also have a right to legally challenge drug testing in your school. In order for a school to implement a drug testing policy, there must usually be reasonable suspicion that you, as an individual, are using drugs. Unless you are an athlete, the fact that some students may be using drugs may not be enough to allow a public school to drug test you!
The implications of a government violating the sanctity of a child’s body to search for “illegal” substances are grave, to say the least. Imagine the horrid society that would result from children who consider government claiming the right to know the content of their bodies as “normal.” A Brave New World, indeed.