Last updated: August 3, 2020
Drug Testing Students
If your school district is considering adopting a random student drug testing program, you should consult USA Mobile Drug Testing of Northeast Ohio as your drug testing partner. With our extensive knowledge and expertise, we can guide you toward the appropriate, customized program for your school district. We can test for any type of drugs you feel are appropriate, using instant or lab-based testing with urine, saliva or hair.
Is Student Drug Testing Legal?
To begin a program, it’s important to understand the legal parameters. In June 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court broadened the authority of public schools to test students for illegal drugs in middle and high school. This testing can be conducted for students participating in extracurricular activities. According to the Ohio State Bar Association, students with school parking permits may also be added to this testing pool. So, practically speaking, a public school can randomly drug test a large portion of its students. Note that purely random (or “suspicion-less” testing) including the entire student body, is not permitted, as it violates Fourth Amendment rights.
Is Student Drug Testing Effective?
Schools that have adopted random student drug testing seek to decrease drug use among students via two routes. First, they hope random testing will serve as a deterrent and give students a reason to resist peer pressure to take drugs. Secondly, drug testing can identify teens who have started using drugs and would be good targets for early intervention, as well as identify those who already have drug problems, so they can be referred for treatment. Using drugs not only interferes with a student’s ability to learn, but it can also disrupt the teaching environment, affecting other students as well.
What Other Considerations Are Important for a Random Program?
Drug testing should never be undertaken as a stand-alone response to a drug problem. If testing is done, it should be a component of broader prevention, intervention and treatment programs, with the common goal of reducing students’ drug use.
Why Test Teenagers at All?
Adolescents’ brains and bodies are still developing, and this makes them especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of drug use. Most teens do not use drugs, but for those who do, it can lead to a wide range of adverse effects on their behavior and health.