Monday, February 28, 2011

Random Drug Testing in Schools:Yay or Nay?

Would you support your child to be drug tested in school?
I recently read a front page article in the News Herald about a special meeting that the Perry Schools Board of Ed had, which was conducted to discuss this very question with parents.
It was to discuss the possibility of random drug testing for students who are involved in privileged activities.

It’s not personal:

In the article, it stated that an attendee of the meeting pointed out that ‘Perry has had fewer reported drug cases than other communities’.
That’s all well and good, but I don’t think that this is meant to be a personal attack on Perry, Perry’s students or its parents’.
Drugs are not limited to a certain area, school district, state or country, so I believe that the motivation behind this is primarily to be proactive and be part of the solution.
It’s clear that the Board of Ed, and its schools, are trying to implement safety and fairness to its students.
Please, correct me if I’m wrong…
Isn’t that what we want for our children?
Okay, so yes
Maybe it is a bit personal.
It’s someone watching out for our kids.

Dissecting the emotional connection:

I understand it’s not warm and fuzzy to pee in a cup; as much as it’s not warm and fuzzy to know why we have to pee in a cup.
It can make us feel a little humiliated when we are not a user and must take part of a random drug test anyways.
But look at it this way, if we take the ‘poor me’ out of it, and in its place we put: there’s someone looking out for us…it can change the perspective.
Or better yet…look at it this way,It is what it is.
If the student is a user and doesn’t want to drug test for fear of being found out, they will end up quitting one or the other…the drug or the activity. And the schools and the Board of Ed are hoping it’s the drug.
If the student isn’t a user, and their feelings are sore over the fact that they still have to test, two choices still remain: quit the activity or get over it.

All in All:

Perry folks can vote, but as we know, voting doesn’t always change the outcome.

She said :

I’ve talked to my 13 year old about this, after asking her to read the article in the News Herald.
She is a private person and thinks that the pee-in-a-cup-test should be between her, her parents and her doctor.
Fair enough.
Until I asked her how she would feel if, on Monday, I handed her a cup and told her to pee in it so I could take it to the doctor and have her tested for drugs.
She was speechless.
And once she got done picking her chin up off the ground and could find her voice, She said, ‘I would be upset!’. And then she blurted out, “I’d say, ‘what, don’t you trust me’?”

So, then asked her if she’d feel better if it was ‘just a part of what the school does’.

She said, ‘Oh, that’d be fine, they don’t know me and it’s just what they have to do’.

Hmmmmm……
It makes me wonder, if left to parents, how many of us would like to take on the above responsibility.
I can see it now, “Hey, Johnny, I trust you, but do me a favor, go pee in this cup before you head out to school. It’s time for your random drug testing…”
Bet that’d go over real well…
How many parent/child relationships would be damaged then?
I’m thinking several, but this is what some are suggesting we should do as an alternative.

Another View…

Real Life?


From what I understand, college’s drug test, the NFL drug tests, and many large workplaces drug test, so, what’ the problem?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this where our kids are headed off to after high school? …The Real World…
Are we supposed to suggest our kids tell these organizations, ‘Yeah, sorry, no drug test for me, thanks.’ ?
Drugs are what they are.
Contrary to the idea that we should just allow the kids who use drugs to come forward on their own and that not drug testing allows them to trust adults and counselors to help them through…This is really kind of silly.
Drugs do not usually illicit courage in kids to quit drugs, or promote feelings of trust in others, nor instill the belief that someone will understand them.
I believe drugs will form the complete opposite; otherwise we would not be having this discussion.
Reasons That Random drug testing in schools could help kids:
Kids who have a drug problem and who will not ask for help, could be caught when they are least expecting it and we can most likely identify those who have flown under the radar, until now.
It could help discourage the ‘experimental teen’ if they know without a doubt they will get caught.
It could even help students who know a friend who uses, but can’t figure out how to help them and doesn’t want to rat them out.
She said:
 I asked my daughter about this one as well and how she would feel if her best friend got nailed for drug use by random testing….
She said, ‘I’d be relieved, because it would mean I wouldn’t be worried about her anymore, because she’s getting help.
Hmmmmmm….

My view:

Though I do wonder why testing in Perry schools would just be for the privileged students…
I’d still have to suggest that we stop taking this thing so personally and in such a negative way. We should try to realize that the policies which are being considered should be viewed as something beneficial to our children. This is not a question of character, it is a question of how to help our students, families and communities overcome, or avoid, drug use.

We need any, and all, resources, and from every angle possible to help with the war against drugs because...
D.A.R.E.  is a great educational program,  and open communication between parents and children are helpful and can prevent some drug use…but neither can prevent all drug use.
So, actually, I think that the question at the meeting should’ve been 'why wouldn’t you support random drug testing in schools’?
It's just my opinion; but offered in my district, I’d back it.

Truly,
Amber
To read more about the meeting:
Watch a video of the Drug Education and Prevention Committee Presentation :(This is  just a small clip from the meeting, but, one in which a few parents concerns were addressed…be patient and listen…something I heard here was ‘supreme court has given strict guidelines’ and ‘cannot be any academic consequences’.)

To read more about school drug testing and related movements:
Student Drug Testing Mission and Manual (2004): (A non-profit Organization and not affiliated with this meeting):
Student Drug Testing Institute (not affiliated with this meeting, but interesting to learn about this organization and funds given to different states for this cause.)




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