Benefits of school drug testing outweigh sacrifice of privacy

January 30, 2020 — by Benjamin Li

Because of the failure of traditional anti-drug systems, new methods such as drug testing need to be enforced


 

JUULing has been a defining issue that schools have struggled to deal with ever since its rise and spread in 2016. As attempts to curb JUULing across the nation have failed, some schools have turned to more controversial policies, with some even implementing drug testing, which seems to be the next option in the battle against vaping and drug use generally. 

Stephen T. Badin High in Hamilton, Ohio, is just a part of the growing 37 percent of school districts that have adopted a drug-testing policy, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study in 2016. The private Catholic high school has started testing its students as a part of a health and wellness initiative started in January. 

The legality of random drug testing in schools was supported by a 2002 U.S Supreme Court ruling. However, parents and students have concerns about whether the testing would truly be random, or if the method could become a system for rooting out students the school deemed troublemakers or perhaps targeting minorities. 

Although random drug testing is no doubt invasive, parents and students need to keep in mind is that it can save lives. Thousands of young people are now addicted to opiods and other drugs; catching these problems early can result in effective treatments that teens will be thankful for years later,

Traditional methods, such as warnings and dissuasion, have had little effect on keeping teens drug free, which is a sign that the methods themselves need to change. Even if privacy must be sacrificed in order to keep drug use and vaping at bay, then so be it. 

A student’s safety should take priority over other important considerations. And if a teen doesn’t take drugs or vape, they have nothing to worry about with the testing.