Drug testing students: Right or wrong? - February 10, 2005

Currently, some school districts rely on random drug testing of students to help maintain drug-free school sites. The effectiveness of random drug testing remains a contentious issue among proponents and opponents of the policy. In addition to questions surrounding the effectiveness are concerns related to students’ civil liberties and rights to privacy. The legislature has recently addressed these issues through bills relating to random testing of high school athletes along with legislation that would prohibit drug or alcohol testing without reasonable suspicion. Do schools have the right to test students for drug or alcohol use? If so, should the policy extend to all students or just those who are suspected of use? Should athletes be singled out? Should an individual’s rights to privacy supercede a school’s attempt to maintain a drug-free environment? This meeting will give students the opportunity to share their experiences and concerns on these important issues.