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Feature: Number of Schools Embracing Random Drug Testing on the Rise -- So is Opposition

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #553)
Drug War Issues

Emboldened by a pair of US Supreme Court decisions and spurred by the Bush administration's push to expand drug testing of students, an increasing number of school districts across the country are embracing drug testing as a drug abuse prevention measure. While the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP, the drug czar's office) and anti-drug activists applaud the trend, the resort to random drug testing of junior and senior high school students has also sparked a counter-movement that tries to persuade schools to instead embrace drug prevention strategies that do not treat students as guilty until proven innocent.

Allie Brody
In Vernonia in 1995 and Earls in 2002, the Supreme Court okayed the random drug testing of student athletes and students involved in extracurricular activities, respectively. Beginning in 2004, the Bush administration and drug czar John Walters began a push to get schools to create drug testing programs, seeding them with millions of dollars in federal grant money.

While earlier statistics on the number of schools resorting to student drug testing are hard to come by, the National Association of School Boards told the Chronicle that year that it thought the top-end figure stood at about 5%. Federal estimates at that time, put the number of schools doing random drug testing at somewhere between 500 and 2,000, or a top-end figure of about 3.5%.

"We don't take a specific position on drug testing, but we wrote briefs in support of the districts in the Supreme Court cases," said Lisa Sawyer, senior staff attorney for the National Association of School Boards. "That's because we believe in local control. We like the idea that school districts have the ability to drug test if they choose."

But by the time the Centers for Disease Control published the results of its school survey in October 2007, it reported the number of schools with random drug testing programs was 4,200. That is about 7% of the nation's 59,000 junior and senior high schools.

The Student Drug Testing Coalition, an off-shoot of the Drug-Free Projects Coalition, which advocates for increased random drug tests of students, put the number even higher in a May 2008 report. According to the coalition, some 14% of school districts had random drug testing policies during the 2004-2005 school year.

The coalition also reported that the number of school districts resorting to random drug tests is increasing by about 100 per year, or 1% annually. That number is difficult to verify, but a Google News or similar search for "student drug testing" will show that the issue is being debated by school boards across the country every week.

drug testing lab
"When the Bush administration started pushing for testing after the Earls decision, schools didn't know about that policy, and the administration has had some success in convincing some districts this is a good policy to try," said Jennifer Kern, youth policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, which, along with groups such as Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project, and NORML, is leading the charge against student drug testing. "Although they have not had much success convincing the public health and educational community this is the way to go, they have been barnstorming the country, and some districts have gone for it."

Since 2004, the drug czar's office has organized student drug testing "summits" around the country to push more districts to embrace testing and to sweeten the pot by aiding them to apply for federal student drug testing grants. They had been occurring at a rate of about four a year, but this year that number has jumped to eight, with two set next month for Omaha, Nebraska, and Albany, New York.

As at past summits, the opposition will be in Omaha and Albany, said Kern. "We'll be doing what we did in the past, getting people to come out, providing materials, talking to educators, who we've found to be quite receptive to our message," she said. "Hopefully, this is the drug czar's last hurrah," she said, with an eye on the November elections.

"At past summits, most attendees were undecided about school drug testing," said SSDP executive director Kris Krane. "They wanted to hear the government's pitch and find out how to apply for grant money, but we found them generally very receptive to our points of view. We stuck to our specific concerns about drug testing, and our message was generally well-received."

Opponents of student drug testing aren't limited to reform organizations. Not surprisingly, high school students themselves and their parents form another bloc where opposition can and does emerge. Kern reported being contacted by numerous students and parents as drug testing becomes an issue in their communities.

When Allentown High School in Allentown, New Jersey, instituted a drug testing program, it did so in the face of student and parent opposition, and that opposition hasn't ended. Allie Brody, a senior at Allentown High, is taking a stand against student drug testing -- and it's costing her. Carrying a 3.96 Grade Point Average, Brody is a member of the National Honor Society. Last year, she was in the school travel club, founded the school philosophy club, and helped out on the school musical, among other extracurricular activities. This year, she can't do any of that because she refused to sign a consent form for drug testing.

"Drug testing goes very strongly against my principles. It is taking the choice about what happens to my body out of my parents' hands. That's not the school's responsibility, and I'm not willing to give it to them," she said Wednesday.

"Now I can't participate in extracurricular activities, I've been removed as vice-president of the French Honor Society, and my National Honor Society membership is in question," she said matter-of-factly. "I have to park off campus. This may even affect where I can go to college," the honor student said. "I'm making a personal statement about drug testing and I hope colleges will understand. If they don't, I don't think that's the kind of place I would want to attend anyway."

Brody and other students worked to stop the board from establishing the drug testing policy, to no avail, she said. "My friend Brendan Benedict [cofounder with Brody of Students Morally Against Drug Testing (SMART)] and I got a lot of students to come out, and my parents have been really supportive, and we've gotten a lot of support from the community. I tried to stop it by attending board meetings, but it was like the board had made up its mind before we even heard about it, and I didn't have a vote on the board."

Kern and other reformers are determined to provide whatever assistance they can to students, parents, and educators opposed to student drug testing. They have prepared a kit to prepare people attending the drug czar's summits, they have created the Safety 1st web site with alternative approaches to drug testing, and even a "Drug Testing Invades My Privacy" Facebook page. (You must log in to Facebook to view it.)

They can also point interested parties to New Mexico, where the Drug Policy Alliance has received a grant to do youth substance abuse education. The New Mexico office has just produced a new video about meth and materials for training educators.

While some of the opposition to student drug testing is moral or philosophical, opponents also cite various studies showing that drug testing has no impact on student drug use rates or even that it has a negative impact. A 2003 study headed by University of Michigan researcher Lloyd Johnston of Monitoring the Future fame put it this way:

"Drug testing still is found not to be associated with students' reported illicit drug use -- even random testing that potentially subjects the entire student body. Testing was not found to have significant association with the prevalence of drug use among the entire student body nor the prevalence of use among experienced marijuana users. Analyses of male high school athletes found that drug testing of athletes in the school was not associated with any appreciably different levels of marijuana or other illicit drug use."

On the other hand, the drug czar's student drug testing web site and the Student Drug Testing Coalition's drug testing effectiveness web page offer up additional studies that attempt to rebut or refute Johnston's and similar findings.

But it's not just about student drug testing's much-debated effectiveness; it's also about how schools view their students and vice versa, said SSDP's Krane.

"School drug testing really breaks down the trust between students and teachers, counselors, and administrators," he said. "If they do have a substance abuse problem, they need to see authority figures as people they can trust, not as people constantly viewing them as suspects. Drug testing tells these kids they're guilty until proven innocent," Krane continued.

"If we only drug test students in athletics and extracurricular activities, and they might be experimenting or smoking a little pot, we're actually driving them away from participating in those activities. Is that what we want?" Krane asked rhetorically. "I think these kinds of policies actually create more drug abuse among young people."

While the battle is being fought district by district across the country, reform organizations are also keeping an eye on the prize in Washington, where Congress must decide whether to continue funding the Bush administration's drug testing grant program. While no further action is expected this year, activists are planning ahead.

School drug testing politics on Capitol Hill is done for this year, Krane, whose organization has fought student drug testing for years. "There is nothing to be done legislatively for the rest of the year," he said. "It looked like the ONDCP grants would be cut, the Senate version did cut it, but in the end, the Congress merged everything into an omnibus spending bill and they just re-upped at last year's spending levels."

"What we would like to see is a prohibition on using federal money to fund these student drug testing programs because funds under the Safe and Drug-Free Schools Act must go to programs that are evidence-based, and student drug testing is not evidence-based," said Kern. "But realistically, we can try to cut funding for the program and the drug czar's road trips to promote this."

Much depends on how the November election turns out, Kern said. "If we get a new drug czar who takes a public health approach to these issues, there is a really good chance of curtailing this ideologically-based federal push. There is already a lot of resistance at the state and local level because random suspicionless student drug testing goes against many best practices in prevention, school environment, and relationships and trust between students and teachers."

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


borden (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Our article doesn't say that PDFA was involved. It did have that error online for a few minutes late last night before I caught it, but it was fixed long before this morning, both on the web and in our email edition.

David Borden, Executive Director the Drug Reform Coordination Network
Washington, DC

Fri, 09/26/2008 - 1:54pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I have 2 sons in High School and I have NO interest in the contents of their urine. Anyone who is interested in their urine is a pervert. If my boys behavior indicates they are having some sort of problem I'll find out what it is. Rummaging around in peoples bodily waste is SICK.

Fri, 09/26/2008 - 11:31am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Oh my gosh! I thought about American Beauty as soon as I started reading your comment...and that example was an EXTREME one.I highly doubt millions of parents nationwide are drug-testing their children (except in dire circumstances where the child has a serious drug problem curtailing them from fully living life and becoming a responsible adult). So, this is another way for the Govt to say "if you do what we want, not matter how ridiculous, we can give you a grant." Meanwhile, scholls need money forbooks and materials and that's "not in the budget," but where do they find the money for this random drug testing? UNBELIEVABLE!

Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:31am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

"we can give you a grant" And here's the kicker---IT'S ON BORROWED MONEY. How do these morons think they can go on spending with reckless abandon?

Mon, 09/29/2008 - 2:46pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

A parent can buy these drug test kits at any Walgreens of CVS and according to the White House's own drug policy website:

"The price of drug testing varies according to the type of test and the drugs involved, but generally the cost is between $10 and $30 per test, with hair testing somewhat higher. The price for onsite alcohol tests usually ranges from $1 to $10 per test."

If most parents support drug testing their kids (as some of these local school governments claim) and can obtain a drug test kit at any Walgreens, why do schools feel the need to implement these programs?

Because the vast majority of schools that adopt drug testing are underperforming, poor urban or rural districts and see the federal grants as a cash cow. There is no uniform standard of accountability enforced by the federal government. Local school districts decide their own drug testing policy.
They decide how many kids they want to drug test, how often they test, and what type of tests they want to use. Often the number of students tested is extraordinarily low compared to the pool of eligible students (usually around 10 percent). However, ONDCP is only concerned about increasing the number of recipient schools on paper to make student drug testing look mainstream and will give schools their kickbacks to make that happen. Student drug testing is govt waste and lack of accountability at its worst.

Tue, 09/30/2008 - 11:37am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

In my area (Dallas/Fort Worth), I am curious how ONDCP and the Department of Education ended up spending a lot more taxpayer money in 2005 on Grand Prairie ISD's drug testing program than on Dallas ISD, considering that the latter is the second largest school district in the state or 12th largest in the country?

Dallas Independent School District (160,000 students ) -- $204,953

Grand Prairie Independent School District (22,000 students)-- $307,156

(Please note, these federal grants given to schools across the country are three-year grants, i.e. Grand Prairie ISD gets $307,156 each year for three years)

Tue, 09/30/2008 - 3:06pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

To drug test anyone without any suspicion is against the fourth ammendment of the constitution, as if any of the drug warriors care about our constitution, right? To drug test children is humiliating and just plain wrong. It is the parent's job, if they so choose, not the job of the schools or government to take our children into a bathroom and watch them pee into a bottle.

Norman Lepoff, M.D.

Fri, 09/26/2008 - 11:41am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Dr. Lepoff,

How can you say random drug testing is wrong?

Are you aware it takes parents an average of 3.5 years to find out their child is abusing drugs?

Are you aware that most drug abusers will not seek help unless they are first detected?

Would you rather have kids continue dying?

Lastly, the last time I check we were a country of law. As such, random drug testing is clearly not a violation of the Constitution.

Sorry to use logic,

Fri, 09/26/2008 - 5:56pm Permalink
Brinna (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

So, 'Anonymous' (interesting that you don't give your name), what exactly about the fourth amendment do you not understand?

My urine is secure in my person, deeply embedded in my bladder, as a matter of fact. Taking that urine IS an unreasonable search and seizure. Where is the probable cause, the oath, or for that matter, the warrant in a random urine drug test.

How jaded we have become, that we no longer hold dear the rights which once made this country great.

PS I don't believe your 'concern' for 'the children'. If you did have any true feelings you would a) respect their privacy, b) teach them their rights.

Fri, 09/26/2008 - 7:14pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Brinna (not verified)

Brinna I Can Only Pray To My Higher Power That People Wake Up To The Fact That The Rights We Have Are What MAKE'S US THE FREE U.S.A.

Fri, 09/26/2008 - 9:40pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Q. How can you say random drug testing is wrong?
A. Ok... You're Next! Obviously you'll be tested for all drugs more harmful than marijuana, as measured by death & disease: including alcohol, caffeine, zoloft, aspirin, and god & country, to mention just a few drugs of choice.

Q. Would you rather have kids continue dying?
A. Perhaps you are confusing the drug alcohol, which kills around 180,000 per year, with marijuana which can't kill you... no matter how much one smokes? Ask an honest cop which drug is 'Killer Supreme' on the highway or puts the 'Demon' in Domestic Violence and they'll tell you it's alcohol... not marijuana!

Q. Lastly, the last time I check we were a country of law?
A. Oh, where to start? We're supposed to be a country of 'lawful laws'... not laws that violate the Constitution. The 4th amendment is absolutely applicable here. "The right of the people to be secure in their persons.... against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause..."

Sorry you thought you used logic!

Billy B. Blunt
Tacoma, WA

Fri, 09/26/2008 - 7:56pm Permalink
Emmet C (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)


I only laugh to keep from crying.

Sorry to use logic,

Hey, Anon - you mis-spoke. This should read "Please excuse my sorry excuse for logic."

I weep for you and your kind.

Emmet C

Fri, 09/26/2008 - 9:56pm Permalink
borden (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Research cited in our article authored by arguably the leading drug use researcher in the US found that student drug testing programs don't work. If that research is correct, then nothing you've said even if it's true is relevant -- because if it doesn't work than it doesn't help with those things. If you have any counter-evidence to offer, please share it with the class. So far we're the only ones here who've offered actual research evidence.

David Borden, Executive Director the Drug Reform Coordination Network
Washington, DC

Sat, 09/27/2008 - 1:00pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

If your so called 'logic' is right, then diprove this...

Schools are poor as it is.
Drug testing for a school of 1900 would be around $11,305.
That is one time only.
Schools could spend that on books, or the under-payed teachers.

How do you like that?

Mon, 12/08/2008 - 9:57am Permalink
Stats (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

I really liked your comments! I have had several experiences (and heard of more) where parents are not aware of the kids doing very dangerous drugs.  These are kids that excelled in school and were great athletes.  Where did you get the statistics about the 3.5 years etc??

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 8:32pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

1) I don't think school drug testing is effective because most students use drugs on the weekend and by Monday morning the drugs are out of the body. This is especially true considering that most teens have high metabolisms.

2) For the above reason, if a parent supports drug testing their kids, it would be better if they took on that responsiblity. Because parents are sending the wrong message to kids about personal responsibility when they push their responsibilities on local school administrators. Schools should be fostering parental involvement, not more bureaucracy.

3) Regardless of the fourth admendment, parents are the most effective tool in keeping kids off drugs and should be able to raise their kids in the manner they see fit. If their kids have a drug problem, it is a parent's right to drug test them, have them see a drug counselor and find out why their kids are using drugs.

Fri, 09/26/2008 - 3:35pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Hello, this is Allie Brody, the student featured in the article. I can tell you first-hand the negative effects of Random Student Drug Testing (RSDT).

My school just had it's first "test day," and the halls were buzzing with negative remarks. Many of my peers who had been tested said they felt uncomfortable with the procedure and that it was even scary and intimidating to hand the vice principle a cup of their urine. Administrators are supposed to be trusted confidants and advisors, not a threat. With the evident mistrust they have for us, how could we feel as if they truly want to help us? The RSDT policy is a scare tactic, and if it does deter anyone from drug use it will be for all of the wrong reasons, with some negative consequences.

Other than creating a hinderance in the student-teacher/administration trust,it also gives students a reason to seek more dangerous alternatives. Inhalants do not show up on the tests, and many drugs can be manipulated so that they aren't evident. Is huffing glue and taking "designer-drugs" any safer than smoking a joint?

This doesn't mean I support any drug use...but if students were taught honestly about the negative and positive effects of drugs they could reason for themselves that it isn't worth it. RSDT adds one more layer of fear induced ignorance in the minds of high school students. It is invasive, dangerous, and another way for the establishment to narrow the minds of young Americans. I am not signing, and I hope that many more students follow suit and start their own clubs out of school before surrendering to RSDT.

-Allie Brody

Sat, 09/27/2008 - 12:27pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

It is clearly not enough to simply inform students about the effects of drugs, when students consistently use drugs knowing the effects ahead of time. Drug testing is not meant as a punishment, nor a reason to disrrupt student/faculty relations. Students tested with positive results face nothing more than help to become clean. Preventing the problem as early on as possible is the pure solution. Obviously, most students encounter drugs while in secondary school, which is why it was ruled legal in the Supreme Court to test all students participating in competitive extracurricular activities. Also, you seem like a bright girl, but disputing drug testing will not lessen the teen drug usage rates. If you honestly think informing students is enough to reduce substance abuse in adolescents, then I am sorry to inform you that you are terribly wrong. Three quarters of this nation's schools already participate in drug education programs, yet the percentages of teen users are still too high. Unfortunately, more drastic measures have to be taken in order to prevent this problem, even if that means urinating in a cup, but those who need help cannot be helped without recognition.

Sun, 02/22/2009 - 6:16pm Permalink
rita (not verified)

Let me count the ways.

1. Drug testing is a gross invasion of privacy. For all ages.

2. Drug testing violates constitutional rights to presumption of innocence. For all ages.

3. The presence of an illegal substance in the urine DOES NOT indicate either impairment or "drug abuse." For all ages.

4. The use of an illegal substance doesn't necessarily indicate drug abuse. For all ages.

5. Drug testing violates constitutional protections against being forced to testify against oneself. For all ages.

6. Drug testing in schools, along with "zero-tolerance" drug policies, create a climate of fear at a time when our children most need guidance from trusted adults.

7. You drug testing my child infringes on my right and responsibility as a parent to raise my children as I see fit.

8. Since marijuana is by far the most popular illegal drug AND the one that stays detectable the longest, random drug testing of ANY population group will target users of the most harmless drug. Random testing will therefore encourage the use of more dangerous drugs that leave the body in a day or two. For all ages.

9. As teenagers, my friends and I experimented with all kinds of drugs. It didn't make us "drug abusers"; in fact, we all made it through just fine. Rarely does drug use cause permanent damage; interdiction rarely does anything else. For all ages.

By the way, being "legal" is not the same as being "right." Slavery was legal, as was racial segregation. Did that make it right? The systematic destruction of Native American culture was legal; was it right? Everything Hitler did was legal, also -- how will history judge you?

Sun, 09/28/2008 - 1:58pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

the 5th ammend. You know ,the one about self incrimination. Thanx to all who corrected Mr.Sorry Logic, the authoritarian.If you don't trust your children they will not trust you. If one insists on not trusting their child, piss test them yourself. Don't ask the state to do it.

Sun, 09/28/2008 - 2:03pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

When I was in high school, I realized I might have had a problem with alcohol. Out of concern for my health and well-being, I went to speak with my "guidance" counselor. About one minute into the conversation, she excused herself to get "more information." As I sat waiting, I looked forward to getting some help. Imagine how disturbing it was when she returned with the principal and the police!

I was immediately subjected to an interrogation and a search of my person and vehicle for illegal drugs, without my consent. Nothing was found, of course since I didn't use "the bad" drugs, only the socially acceptable alcohol! After many threats of jail, they told me to go back to class. I received NO HELP WHATSOEVER!!!

Two weeks later, I told the school to go f*** themselves and I quit. It was the smartest decision I ever made. Now, I will say that alcohol continued to be problematic for me, but I eventually helped myself and have been alcohol-free for many years now. I went on to get my master's degree, then served an enlistment in the Army, where I was honorably discharged. The disgust I have for the publlic education system as a whole sticks with me to this day. Schools are there to educate, not to serve as an apparatus of the police!

I tell this story because it just goes to show the many flaws of how our school systems deal with the problems of drug abuse (not use or experimentation, which of course drug testing makes NO differentiation thereof). In short, they do a miserable job, since it seems their primary concern is punishment and ownership of students. This is not to say that I didn't have some great teachers in high school, because I did, and I remember their names and faces to this day!

I can tell you that after the way I was treated, I don't trust school adminstrators to take on the role of drug counselors or chemists. Drug testing doesn't work, as this excellent article demonstrates. Not only does it destroy any trust between students and school officials, it is a blatant violation of the Bill of Rights! I don't know about you, but I demand my children have every right under the Constitution that I enjoy! JUST SAY NO to school drug testing!!!

Sun, 09/28/2008 - 7:06pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

"Land of the subjugated--home of the oppressed" is more like it ... an exercise in "compassionate conservatism" looks like to me. Instead of offering a helping hand, they offer handcuffs. It's the American way anymore--and they think that they are "Christian" ... THE NERVE!

Mon, 09/29/2008 - 9:31am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Just like red-light cameras have very little to do with public safety and EVERYTHING to do about REVENUE-ENHANCEMENT, the drug-testing industry is all about the almighty dollar. These companies are grateful, no doubt, to the Republican-Democrat establishment which works so hard to subvert of once-sacred Constitutional rights to privacy.

Mon, 09/29/2008 - 9:25am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

ONDCP Random Student Drug Testing Summits
September 26, 2008

Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)
Drug Policy Information Clearinghouse
P.O. Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Tel: (800) 666–3332 | Fax: (301) 519–5212

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) will be hosting a regional Random Student Drug Testing Summit in 2008. Random student drug testing is a valuable prevention strategy that can help deter children from initiating drug use. It can also help identify children who have just started using drugs as well as children who have a dependency so that they may be referred to treatment.

Student drug testing programs are developed by the schools in which they are implemented so that the program is specifically tailored to the needs of the community. All random student drug testing programs are designed to act as deterrent and are not by format or nature punitive.

The Random Student Drug Testing Summit will address relevant legal and program development issues and serve as an introduction for schools that would like to learn more about student drug testing.

Summit attendees will also learn about the newly created Student Drug Testing Institute. Launched in September, the SDT Institute is designed to assist schools and school districts in implementing drug testing programs and to provide technical assistance for existing programs.

Summit dates and locations are as follows:

October 21, 2008 – Omaha, Nebraska
October 29, 2008 – Albany, New York
For additional information regarding random student drug testing, please visit

There is no cost to attend the summits but, because space is limited, we encourage you to register as soon as possible at

Email [email protected] if you have additional questions.

Tue, 09/30/2008 - 9:45am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

"All random student drug testing programs are designed to act as deterrent and are not by format or nature punitive."

This reads like a "cover-our-ass" legal disclaimer, considering that neither ONDCP nor the Dept. of Education control how the programs are designed or implemented by local schools. They only make recommendations at these summits.

Tue, 09/30/2008 - 2:37pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

This ONDCP stuff is ridiculous. So a student smokes a joint, and what, they get put in treatment? They go to jail? They get put on a list of "bad" students? Utterly ridiculous!

I say flood the emails listed above with protest, I'm going to. The ONDCP is a terrorist organization that tramples The Constitution and The Bill of Rights!

Tue, 09/30/2008 - 7:06pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Q: Is drug testing a violation of an adolescent's privacy rights?

A: This objection usually stems from a misunderstanding of the purpose of student drug testing. Foremost, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that student drug testing can be done, but must be done confidentially. Schools have a responsibility to respect students' privacy, so it is vital that only the people who need to know the test results see them—parents and a school administrator, for example. The results should not be shared with anyone else, not even teachers. The purpose is not to expose and punish children for drug use, but to deter use, intervene early with those who have just begun to use, and to provide professional help to those who have become dependent.

An appropriate comparison is screening for other public health problems. Most parents and students are not concerned about privacy rights when schools require tests for infectious diseases. When concerned citizens realize drug dependence is a disease of the brain that spreads through non-addictive users, their privacy objections usually dissipate.


There is NO misunderstanding here, it's simply a "yes" or "no" answer! As usual, the mealy-mouthed drug warriors speak a thousand words and SAY NOTHING!!! If schools actually cared about students' rights, privacy or freedom, they wouldn't drug test.

Also, the idiot drug warriors state that drug use is a public health problem. Really? Why do so many people get arrested and imprisoned for what you say is a public health problem? the issue goes much deeper than that - the one thing that is really ill in this country is the Constitution, which drug warriors ignore in their ridiculous efforts to save people from themselves. If students need drug testing, their families need to pay for it! It's a family problem, not a school problem. OF COURSE, THEY DON'T WANT THAT - HOW COULD THEY MAKE MONEY IF FAMILIES DEALT WITH THEIR OWN PROBLEMS???

Admit it, with you DRUG WARRIORS, it's ALL ABOUT MONEY AND CONTRACTS! You are disgusting, as you use the same old, lame old "we're here to SAVE THE CHILDREN" garbage.

Tue, 09/30/2008 - 7:20pm Permalink
Emily (not verified)

I am a 17 year old high school junior in California, and I think that people really need to understand how many students are using illicit drugs. It amazes me how many people in my school have no problem admitting that they use drugs, and the funny thing is that they can say it in front of a teacher, and the teacher won’t do anything. So many students use drugs, that teachers have become used to hearing about students using drugs. I am all for random drug testing. It makes our schools a safer places, and promotes a more peaceful learning environment.

Tue, 04/13/2010 - 12:41pm Permalink
George (not verified)

In reply to by Emily (not verified)

There are so many things wrong with your perspective that I can't even begin to explain it all. It's as if you've not read any of the cost/benefit analyses of drug testing -- in short, it doesn't work, is ridiculously costly, invites expensive law suits, doesn't stop drug use, pushes kids to use harder drugs, makes students distrust authority, etc. I encourage you to give a call to Students for Sensible Drug Policy ( -- 202-293-4414 -- and have them explain what a sensible drug policy really means. They've had more than 10 years experience analyzing the facts and speaking with experts. No one necessarily expects a 17-year-old to have the perspective and wealth of knowledge to determine what good policy is -- but they'll bring you up to speed.

- George

Tue, 04/13/2010 - 10:00pm Permalink
Stop RDTS (not verified)

well this issue has been very interestingly debated as i can tell but for those of you who are for random drug testing am going to have to oppose you on this one. I will agree that it does scare teens into harder drugs (my sister is one of those teens) but that is not something i want in my school. i don't want students to be afraid to talk to their teachers about their use of illegal drugs or even of their abuse of it. For me though im in a situation of my own. I am in Mosaics the literary publication for my school a.k.a. an extracurricual activity. they can drug test me at any time, but they never gave me a consent form. still because i am in this extra activity im still subjected to a random drug screening that could happen at anytime. I'm. like some of my friends, am a ciggerate smoker saddly. the drug test i can be subjected to screens for nicotine. But because there are so many variables the school board wouldn't know what to do in my situation. So there's my problem. My govt. class is almost doing a simulation about a court case that sited a different one that said the schools have the right to waive some constitutional rights to maintain order and to give swift disiplanry actions. to me that made me feel like i was just another brainless zombie that is just suposed to eat up what-ever bs they feed us. so what constitutional rights are next on the list? giving more rules to students (especially this one) is just driving the wedge between students and teachers. My sister, who started doing coke (shes been sober for almost four months) couldn't talk to any of her tachers because the school requiers all staff members to report anything that a student says about an illegal drug. so what was she suposed to do? just go to school and wait untill thing got worse, or maybe get arrested when they do because she couldn't get help for an adult figure.
i want to personally thank Allie Brody. She has inspired me and i soon will join the fight to stop UNCONSTITUTUIONAL drug testing

-Matthew Bockrath

Mon, 04/26/2010 - 1:39am Permalink

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