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The (Un)Constitutional Act of Schools Having Random Drug Tests

Brianna Bell-Gunderson, Writer

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At New Milford High School, random drug testing has created a great wave of panic for some students. There has been a great number of students having to take drug tests this year. If a student refuses to take a drug test, they are not allowed back to NMHS until they do so and it has to come up negative for any substances. But if a student does decide to take the test and it comes up positive, there a number of things that can happen. From what I’ve researched, the most common consequence is the student being suspended for a period of time. Usually, a drug test is only administered if there is suspect of a student doing any drugs, but there was a law that passed in June 2002 where any middle and high school students can be randomly drug tested if they participate in any competitive extracurricular activities.

This topic has been one of the great controversies throughout the country. Some people think random drug testing is unconstitutional, though it is legal. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse says “By 2008, about 16 percent, or 2,000 U.S. School districts, had adopted some form of a drug testing program.” It has become very popular for schools to have random drug testing, this is because they want to identify those who have substance abuse problems and get them treatment. Random drug tests also eliminate students with a drug problem and provide a healthier and safe environment for the student in need of help and others.

But there are two sides to this debate: some believe random drug tests are smart and help identify the people who need help while others say it’s expensive and school funds should not be wasted on them.

While both sides have fair arguments, from researching, I do not believe that random drug tests should be legal in school. One main reason for drug testing is to test people competing in extracurricular activities, but should the school be wasting money on drug tests when they could be using that money for much-needed improvements in the school? Also like many, I believe it is unconstitutional; why should students be subjected to take drug tests? School should be a safe place and yet randomly drug testing students are just going to make the school a place to fear. Why should students be scared to come to school because of the possibility of having to take a drug test, or worse, possibly getting suspended?

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The student news site of New Milford High School, New Milford, New Jersey
The (Un)Constitutional Act of Schools Having Random Drug Tests